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Assessing the Impact of LAI Data Assimilation on Simulations of the Soil Water Balance and Maize Development Using MOHID-Land
Open AccessArticle

Organic Amendments Influence Soil Water Depletion, Root Distribution, and Water Productivity of Summer Maize in the Guanzhong Plain of Northwest China

by 1,2,3, 4, 1,2,3,*, 1,2,3 and 1,2,3
1
College of Water Resources and Architectural Engineering, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
2
Key Laboratory for Agricultural Soil and Water Engineering in Arid Area of Ministry of Education, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
3
Institute of Water Saving Agriculture in Arid Areas of China, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
4
School of Water Conservancy, North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power, Zhengzhou 450046, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(11), 1640; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111640
Received: 11 October 2018 / Accepted: 9 November 2018 / Published: 13 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation Issues in Water, Agriculture and Food)
Organic amendments improve general soil conditions and stabilize crop production, but their effects on the soil hydrothermal regime, root distribution, and their contributions to water productivity (WP) of maize have not been fully studied. A two-year field experiment was conducted to investigate the impacts of organic amendments on soil temperature, water storage depletion (SWSD), root distribution, grain yield, and the WP of summer maize (Zea mays L.) in the Guanzhong Plain of Northwest China. The control treatment (CO) applied mineral fertilizer without amendments, and the three amended treatments applied mineral fertilizer with 20 Mg ha−1 of wheat straw (MWS), farmyard manure (MFM), and bioorganic fertilizer (MBF), respectively. Organic amendments decreased SWSD compared to CO, and the lowest value was obtained in MBF, followed by MWS and MFM. Meanwhile, the lowest mean topsoil (0–10 cm) temperature was registered in MWS. Compared to CO, organic amendments generally improved the root length density (RLD) and root weight density (RWD) of maize. MBF showed the highest RLD across the whole soil profile, while MWS yielded the greatest RWD to 20 cm soil depth. Consequently, organic amendments increased grain yield by 9.9–40.3% and WP by 8.6–47.1% compared to CO, and the best performance was attained in MWS and MBF. We suggest that MWS and MBF can benefit the maize agriculture in semi-arid regions for higher yield, and WP through regulating soil hydrothermal conditions and improving root growth. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil temperature; soil water storage depletion; root growth; maize yield; semi-arid region soil temperature; soil water storage depletion; root growth; maize yield; semi-arid region
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Zhao, L.-L.; Li, L.-S.; Cai, H.-J.; Shi, X.-H.; Zhang, C. Organic Amendments Influence Soil Water Depletion, Root Distribution, and Water Productivity of Summer Maize in the Guanzhong Plain of Northwest China. Water 2018, 10, 1640.

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