Optimizing single irrigation scheme to improve water use efficiency by manipulating winter wheat sink-source relationships in Northern China Plain.
ABSTRACT: Improving winter wheat grain yield and water use efficiency (WUE) with minimum irrigation is very important for ensuring agricultural and ecological sustainability in the Northern China Plain (NCP). A three-year field experiment was conducted to determine how single irrigation can improve grain yield and WUE by manipulating the "sink-source" relationships. To achieve this, no-irrigation after sowing (W0) as a control, and five single irrigation treatments after sowing (75 mm of each irrigation) were established. They included irrigation at upstanding (WU), irrigation at jointing (WJ), irrigation at booting (WB), irrigation at anthesis (WA) and irrigation at medium milk (WM). Results showed that compared with no-irrigation after sowing (W0), WU, WJ, WB, WA and WM significantly improved mean grain yield by 14.1%, 19.9%, 17.9%, 11.6%, and 7.5%, respectively. WJ achieved the highest grain yield (8653.1 kg ha-1) and WUE (20.3 kg ha-1 mm-1), and WB observed the same level of grain yield and WUE as WJ. In comparison to WU, WJ and WB coordinated pre- and post-anthesis water use while reducing pre-anthesis and total evapotranspiration (ET). They also retained higher soil water content above 180 cm soil layers at anthesis, increased post-anthesis water use, and ultimately increased WUE. WJ and WB optimized population quantity and individual leaf size, delayed leaf senescence, extended grain-filling duration, improved post-anthesis biomass and biomass remobilization (source supply capacity) as well as post-anthesis biomass per unit anthesis leaf area (PostBA-leaf ratio). WJ also optimized the allocation of assimilation, increased the spike partitioning index (SPI, spike biomass/biomass at anthesis) and grain production efficiency (GPE, the ratio of grain number to biomass at anthesis), thus improved mean sink capacity by 28.1%, 5.7%, 21.9%, and 26.7% in comparison to W0, WU, WA and WM, respectively. Compared with WA and WM, WJ and WB also increased sink capacity, post-anthesis biomass and biomass remobilization. These results demonstrated that single irrigation at jointing or booting could improve grain yield and WUE via coordinating the "source-sink" relationships with the high sink capacity and source supply capacity. Therefore, we propose that under adequate soil moisture conditions before sowing, single irrigation scheme from jointing to booting with 75 mm irrigation amount is the optimal minimum irrigation practice for wheat production in this region.
Project description:The effects of cultivar mixture cropping on yield, biomass, and water use efficiency (WUE) in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) were investigated under non-irrigation (W0, no irrigation during growth stage), one time irrigation (W1, irrigation applied at stem elongation) and two times irrigation (W2, irrigation applied at stem elongation and anthesis) conditions. Nearly 90% of cultivar mixture cropping treatments experienced an increase in grain yield as compared with the mean of the pure stands under W0, those for W1 and W2 were 80% and 85%, respectively. Over 75% of cultivar mixture cropping treatments got greater biomass than the mean of the pure stands under the three irrigation conditions. Cultivar mixture cropping cost more water than pure stands under W0 and W1, whereas the water consumption under W2 decreased by 5.9%-6.8% as compared with pure stands. Approximately 90% of cultivar mixtures showed an increase of 5.4%-34.5% in WUE as compared with the mean of the pure stands, and about 75% of cultivar mixtures had 0.8%-28.5% higher WUE than the better pure stands under W0. Similarly, there were a majority of mixture cropping treatments with higher WUE than the mean and the better one of the pure stands under W1 and W2. On the whole, proper cultivar mixture cropping could increase yield and WUE, and a higher increase in WUE occurred under limited irrigation condition.
Project description:Twelve winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) genotypes were examined for differences in grain yield, water use efficiency (WUE), and stable carbon isotope composition (?13C) in flag leaves. The plants were subjected to rain-fed treatment and supplemental irrigation at the jointing and anthesis stages, during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 winter wheat growing seasons. The relationships between ?13C with grain yield and WUE were analyzed under two different water environments. The results indicated that there were significant differences in ?13C, grain yield, and WUE among wheat genotypes both under rain-fed and supplemental irrigation conditions. The ?13C values increased with grain-filling proceeding, the ?13C being lower under supplemental irrigation treatment than that under rain-fed treatment. The relationships between the average of ?13C with grain yield and WUE were significantly positive during three measurement periods (R2 = 0.5785 - 0.8258), whether under rain-fed or irrigation environments. This suggests that ?13C might be associated with the grain yield and WUE in winter wheat under rain-fed and supplemental irrigation conditions in the climate region of the northwest Huang-Huai-Hai Plain of China.
Project description:The response of wheat crops to elevated CO<sub>2</sub> (eCO<sub>2</sub> ) was measured and modelled with the Australian Grains Free-Air CO<sub>2</sub> Enrichment experiment, located at Horsham, Australia. Treatments included CO<sub>2</sub> by water, N and temperature. The location represents a semi-arid environment with a seasonal VPD of around 0.5 kPa. Over 3 years, the observed mean biomass at anthesis and grain yield ranged from 4200 to 10 200 kg ha<sup>-1</sup> and 1600 to 3900 kg ha<sup>-1</sup> , respectively, over various sowing times and irrigation regimes. The mean observed response to daytime eCO<sub>2</sub> (from 365 to 550 ?mol mol<sup>-1</sup> CO<sub>2</sub> ) was relatively consistent for biomass at stem elongation and at anthesis and LAI at anthesis and grain yield with 21%, 23%, 21% and 26%, respectively. Seasonal water use was decreased from 320 to 301 mm (P = 0.10) by eCO<sub>2</sub> , increasing water use efficiency for biomass and yield, 36% and 31%, respectively. The performance of six models (APSIM-Wheat, APSIM-Nwheat, CAT-Wheat, CROPSYST, OLEARY-CONNOR and SALUS) in simulating crop responses to eCO<sub>2</sub> was similar and within or close to the experimental error for accumulated biomass, yield and water use response, despite some variations in early growth and LAI. The primary mechanism of biomass accumulation via radiation use efficiency (RUE) or transpiration efficiency (TE) was not critical to define the overall response to eCO<sub>2</sub> . However, under irrigation, the effect of late sowing on response to eCO<sub>2</sub> to biomass accumulation at DC65 was substantial in the observed data (~40%), but the simulated response was smaller, ranging from 17% to 28%. Simulated response from all six models under no water or nitrogen stress showed similar response to eCO<sub>2</sub> under irrigation, but the differences compared to the dryland treatment were small. Further experimental work on the interactive effects of eCO<sub>2</sub> , water and temperature is required to resolve these model discrepancies.
Project description:Sustainability of winter wheat yield under dryland conditions depends on improving soil water stored during fallow and its efficient use. A 3-year field experiment was conducted in Loess Plateau to access the effect of tillage and N (nitrogen) rates on soil water, N distribution and water- and nitrogen-use efficiency of winter wheat. Deep tillage (DT, 25-30 cm depth) and no-tillage (NT) were operated during fallow season, whereas four N rates (0, 90, 150 and 210 kg ha-1) were applied before sowing. Rates of N and variable rainfall during summer fallow period led to the difference of soil water storage. Soil water storage at anthesis and maturity was decreased with increasing N rate especially in the year with high precipitation (2014-2015). DT has increased the soil water storage at sowing, N content, numbers of spike, grain number, 1,000 grain weight, grain yield, and water and N use efficiency as compared to NT. Grain yield was significantly and positively related to soil water consumption at sowing to anthesis and anthesis to maturity, total plant N, and water-use efficiency. Our study implies that optimum N rate and deep tillage during the fallow season could improve dryland wheat production by balancing the water consumption and biomass production.
Project description:A suitable planting pattern and irrigation strategy are essential for optimizing winter wheat yield and water use efficiency (WUE). The study aimed to evaluate the impact of planting pattern and irrigation frequency on grain yield and WUE of winter wheat. During the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 winter wheat growing seasons in the North China Plain, the effects of planting patterns and irrigation frequencies were determined on tiller number, grain yield, and WUE. The two planting patterns tested were wide-precision and conventional-cultivation. Each planting pattern had three irrigation regimes: irrigation (120 mm) at the jointing stage; irrigation (60 mm) at both the jointing and heading stages; and irrigation (40 mm) at the jointing, heading, and milking stages. In our study, tiller number was significantly higher in the wide-precision planting pattern than in the conventional-cultivation planting pattern. Additionally, the highest grain yields and WUE were observed when irrigation was applied at the jointing stage (120 mm) or at the jointing and heading stages (60 mm each) in the wide-precision planting pattern. These results could be attributed to higher tiller numbers as well as reduced water consumption due to reduced irrigation frequency. In both growing seasons, applying 60 mm of water at jointing and heading stages resulted in the highest grain yield among the treatments. Based on our results, for winter wheat production in semi-humid regions, we recommend a wide-precision planting pattern with irrigation (60 mm) at both the jointing and heading stages.
Project description:Knowledge of the function of the ear as a key organ in the uptake, remobilization and partitioning of nitrogen is essential for understanding its contribution to grain filling and thus guiding future breeding strategies. In this work, four Chinese winter wheat genotypes were grown on a 15N-enriched nutrient solution. N absorption and further remobilization to the flag leaf, the ear and the mature grains were calculated via the 15N atom % excess. The results indicated that the high yields of the Chinese wheat genotype were determined by higher grain numbers per ear, with greater plant height and a larger ear size, while the thousand-grain weight did not affect grain yield. In the mature grains, 66.7% of total N was remobilized from the pre-anthesis accumulation in the biomass, while the remaining 33.3% was derived from the N taken up during post-anthesis. From anthesis to 2 weeks after the anthesis stage, the flag leaf remobilized 3.67 mg of N outwards and the ear remobilized 3.87 mg of N inwards from the pre-anthesis accumulation in each plant. The positive correlation between ear Nrem and grain Nrem indicated that the ear was an important organ for providing N to the grain, whereas the remobilized N stream from the leaves was not correlated with grain Nrem, thus indicating that flag leaf N was not translocated directly to the grain. The grain Nrem was negatively correlated with the ear N concentration throughout grain filling, which suggested that higher-yielding genotypes had better sink activity in the ear, while Rubisco played a critical role in N deposition. Therefore, to improve yield potential in wheat, the N accumulation in the ear and the subsequent remobilization of that stored N to the grains should be considered. N accumulation and remobilization in the ear may at least be valuable for Chinese breeding programs that aim at optimizing the sink/source balance to improve grain filling.
Project description:Rice-rice system and rice fallows are no longer productive in Southeast Asia. Crop and varietal diversification of the rice based cropping systems may improve the productivity and profitability of the systems. Diversification is also a viable option to mitigate the risk of climate change. In Eastern India, farmers cultivate rice during rainy season (June-September) and land leftovers fallow after rice harvest in the post-rainy season (November-May) due to lack of sufficient rainfall or irrigation amenities. However, in lowland areas, sufficient residual soil moistures are available in rice fallow in the post-rainy season (November-March), which can be utilized for raising second crops in the region. Implementation of suitable crop/varietal diversification is thus very much vital to achieve this objective. To assess the yield performance of rice varieties under timely and late sown conditions and to evaluate the performance of dry season crops following them, three different duration rice cultivars were transplanted in July and August. In dry season several non-rice crops were sown in rice fallow to constitute a cropping system. The results revealed that tiller occurrence, biomass accumulation, dry matter remobilization, crop growth rate, and ultimately yield were significantly decreased under late transplanting. On an average, around 30% yield reduction obtained under late sowing may be due to low temperature stress and high rainfall at reproductive stages of the crop. Dry season crops following short duration rice cultivars performed better in terms of grain yield. In the dry season, toria was profitable when sown earlier and if sowing was delayed greengram was suitable. Highest system productivity and profitability under timely sown rice may be due to higher dry matter remobilization from source to sink. A significant correlation was observed between biomass production and grain yield. We infer that late transplanting decrease the tiller occurrence and assimilate remobilization efficiency, which may be responsible for the reduced grain yield.
Project description:Water management and nitrogen application are critical factors in wheat grain yield and protein quality. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of irrigation and nitrogen application on the grain yield, protein content and amino acid composition of winter wheat. Field experiments were conducted in a split-plot design with three replications in high-yielding land on the North China Plain in 2012/2013, 2013/2014 and 2014/2015. Three irrigation treatments were examined in main plots: no irrigation, irrigation at jointing, and irrigation at jointing plus anthesis, while subplots were assigned to nitrogen treatment at four different rates: 0, 180, 240, 300 kg N ha-1, respectively. The results indicated that irrigation at jointing and at jointing plus anthesis improved grain yield by an average of 12.79 and 18.65% across three cropping seasons, respectively, compared with no irrigation. However, different irrigation treatments had no significant effect on grain protein content in any cropping season. Compared with no N treatment, 180, 240, and 300 kg N ha-1 N application significantly increased grain yield, by 58.66, 61.26 and 63.42% respectively, averaged over three cropping seasons. Grain protein and the total, essential and non-essential amino acid content significantly increased with increasing nitrogen application. Irrigation significantly improved the essential amino acid index (EAAI) and protein-digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) compared with no irrigation; however, N application decreased them by an average of 7.68 and 11.18% across three cropping seasons, respectively. EAAI and PDCAAS were positively correlated, however, they were highly negatively correlated with yield and grain protein content.
Project description:Excessive nitrogen (N) input and irrigation exacerbate N leaching in winter wheat production in the North China Plain (NCP). To explore the optimal N for better N remobilization and higher N utilization of wheat under water-saving irrigation will be conductive to less environmental contamination. A field experiment was conducted at 300 (N300), 240 (N240), 180 (N180), and 0 (N0) kg N ha-1 of N application under supplemental irrigation (SI) that brought the relative soil water content (RSWC) to 70% at jointing and 65% at anthesis. Compared with N0, N180 improved the free amino acid content in the flag leaf and grain after anthesis, dry matter and plant N accumulation at maturity, N translocation amount of vegetable organs and its contribution to grain from anthesis to maturity. Compared to N240 and N300, N180 increased the N translocation efficiency of vegetable organs, and reduced the soil NO3-N residue in the 60-180?cm soil layer, which contributing to no significant reduction in grain yield and grain protein yield, but higher grain N recovery efficiency (GREN), N recovery efficiency (REN), and N partial factor productivity (PFPN). Positive relationships were found between leaf N translocation efficiency and grain yield, grain protein yield, PFPN, GREN, and REN. Therefore, N180 is appropriate to obtain a steady grain yield over 7.5 t ha-1 for at least 2 years under SI based on RSWC in the NCP.
Project description:BACKGROUND:To improve our understanding about the physiological mechanism of grain yield reduction at anthesis, three spring wheat genotypes [L1 (advanced line), L2 (Vorobey) and L3 (Punjab-11)] having contrasting yield potential under drought in field were investigated under controlled greenhouse conditions, drought stress was imposed at anthesis stage by withholding irrigation until all plant available water was depleted, while well-watered control plants were kept at 95% pot water holding capacity. RESULTS:Compared to genotype L1 and L2, pronounced decrease in grain number (NGS), grain yield (GY) and harvest index (HI) were found in genotype L3, mainly due to its greater kernel abortion (KA) under drought. A significant positive correlation of leaf monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR) with both NGS and HI was observed. In contrast, significant negative correlations of glutathione S-transferase (GST) and vacuolar invertase (vacInv) both within source and sink were found with NGS and HI. Likewise, a significant negative correlation of leaf abscisic acid (ABA) with NGS was noticed. Moreover, leaf aldolase and cell wall peroxidase (cwPOX) activities were significantly and positively associated with thousand kernel weight (TKW). CONCLUSION:Distinct physiological markers correlating with yield traits and higher activity of leaf aldolase and cwPOX may be chosen as predictive biomarkers for higher TKW. Also, higher activity of MDHAR within the leaf can be selected as a predictive biomarker for higher NGS in wheat under drought. Whereas, lower activity of vacInv and GST both within leaf and spike can be selected as biomarkers for higher NGS and HI. The results highlighted the role of antioxidant and carbohydrate-metabolic enzymes in the modulation of source-sink balance in wheat crops, which could be used as bio-signatures for breeding and selection of drought-resilient wheat genotypes for a future drier climate.