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Open AccessArticle

Assessment of the Effect of Mulch Film on Crops in the Arid Agricultural Region of China under Future Climate Scenarios

by Lu Deng 1,2,3, Xianyong Meng 4,5,*, Ruide Yu 1,* and Qian Wang 1
1
State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
The Institute of Economic Research, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Development and Reform Commission, Urumqi 830000, China
4
College of Resources and Environmental Science, China Agricultural University (CAU), Beijing 100094, China
5
Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong (HKU), Pokfulam 999077, Hong Kong, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(9), 1819; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091819
Received: 29 July 2019 / Revised: 28 August 2019 / Accepted: 28 August 2019 / Published: 31 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Resources Management and Governance)
Plastic mulch film is widely used in agricultural production. However, there are very few studies on degradable mulch film. In order to investigate the effects of using degradable mulch film in arid regions on crop yield and water use efficiency, we used fully biodegradable mulch films on both maize and bare land cultivation experimental areas. The DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC) model was used to analyze changes in maize biomass in the future under different climate scenario models. We found that using fully biodegradable mulch film in an arid region had a positive effect on biomass yields. In 2015–2017, the annual maize biomass yield increased by 24.5%, 28.9%, and 32.9%, respectively. Hence, this method has expansion and promotion value. A comparison of the DNDC model simulated biomass yields and actual measured values found that the ranges of R2, root mean square error (RMSE), and model efficiency (ME) were 0.98–0.99, 0.38–0.86 mg C ha−1, and 0.80–0.98. This result shows that the DNDC model can accurately simulate changes in maize biomass in this region. Under the premise of a good model fit, future climate scenario model data were used to drive the DNDC model. The results showed that the possible range of maize biomass yields in the future is −6.5% to 10.3%, with the most probable range being 0.2–1.5%. Using future climatic conditions, our work suggests that degradable mulch films can increase water use efficiency by an average of 9.5%. The results of this study can be used to promote the use of degradable mulch films in arid regions, significantly improving sustainable agricultural development. View Full-Text
Keywords: fully biodegradable mulch film; maize; biomass; water use efficiency; future climate scenario models fully biodegradable mulch film; maize; biomass; water use efficiency; future climate scenario models
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Deng, L.; Meng, X.; Yu, R.; Wang, Q. Assessment of the Effect of Mulch Film on Crops in the Arid Agricultural Region of China under Future Climate Scenarios. Water 2019, 11, 1819.

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