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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Irrigation Water Salinity on Maize (Zea may L.) Emergence, Growth, Yield, Quality, and Soil Salt

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College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
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College of Agricultural Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
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Institute of Agricultural Resources and Environment, Ningxia Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Yinchuan 750002, China
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State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, Department of Irrigation and Drainage, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100048, China
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Ningxia Institute of Water Resources Research, Yinchuan 750021, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(10), 2095; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102095
Received: 1 September 2019 / Revised: 1 October 2019 / Accepted: 4 October 2019 / Published: 8 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Scarcity)
Freshwater shortage is becoming one of the major limiting factors for the sustainable development of agriculture in arid and semi-arid areas of north China. A two-year field experiment about mulched drip irrigation on maize was conducted in Hetao Irrigation District with five irrigation water salinity levels (total dissolved solids; 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 g·L−1). The effects of irrigation water salinity on maize emergence, growth, yield, grain quality, and soil salt were determined. The results indicated that with the soil matric potential of −20 kPa and irrigation quota for each application of 22.5 mm, the irrigation water salinity showed negative influence on maize emergence and maize morphological characteristics (plant height, leaf area index, stem diameter, and dry matter), as irrigation water salt concentrations exceeded 3 g·L−1. The water use efficiency decreased linearly with the irrigation water salinity raised from 1 g·L−1 to 5 g·L−1, while maize grain protein increased and starch content decreased with the increase of irrigation water salt contents. Additionally, both the vertical radius and horizontal radius of salt isoline by mulched drip irrigation reduced with the irrigation water salt concentrations, when the irrigation water salinity was above 3 g·L−1. Summarily, irrigation water salinity of 3 g·L−1 was recommended for maize mulched drip irrigation in this study. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hetao Irrigation District; soil matric potential; salt isoline; saline water; grain quality; mulched drip irrigation Hetao Irrigation District; soil matric potential; salt isoline; saline water; grain quality; mulched drip irrigation
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Li, J.; Chen, J.; Jin, J.; Wang, S.; Du, B. Effects of Irrigation Water Salinity on Maize (Zea may L.) Emergence, Growth, Yield, Quality, and Soil Salt. Water 2019, 11, 2095.

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