Plastic film (i.e., transparent and black films) is widely applied in mulching to improve thermal environments and plant growth in China. However, choosing suitable film for potato cultivation in different areas is still a problem. A four-year field experiment was conducted to explore the influences of plastic mulch on heat transfer (soil heat flux, G; soil temperature; and canopy net radiation, Rn
) and potato growth in two typical areas of China: Experiment 1 in Northwest China (2014 and 2015) and Experiment 2 in Eastern China (2016 and 2017). Three mulch treatments were designed as follows: (1) transparent film (TF), (2) black film (BF), and (3) no film (NF). Results showed that the Rn
and G differences between TF, BF, and NF varied at different areas. However, the Rn
in TF was always smaller (average 12.4 W/m2
in 2014–2017) than in BF in the two study areas. The differences of soil temperature between TF, BF, and NF in Experiment 1 were greater than in Experiment 2. The average soil temperature difference between TF and NF was 1.4 °C higher in Experiment 1 than in Experiment 2. TF had 23% and 19% more jumbo tubers than BF in weight and number on average with no significant difference in 2015–2017. TF and BF significantly had greater potato yield and irrigation water use efficiency than NF on average in Experiment 1, while no significant differences were found in Experiment 2. The transparent film was more beneficial to increase soil temperature and jumbo tubers than the black film. Film mulch functioned better for improving heat conditions and drip-irrigated potato growth in Northwest China than in Eastern China.
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