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Open AccessArticle

Plastic Film Mulch Performed Better in Improving Heat Conditions and Drip Irrigated Potato Growth in Northwest China than in Eastern China

1
College of Hydraulic Science and Engineering, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China
2
Center for Agricultural Water Research in China, China Agricultural University, No. 17 Qinghua East Road, Haidian, Beijing 100083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(10), 2906; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102906
Received: 26 August 2020 / Revised: 29 September 2020 / Accepted: 15 October 2020 / Published: 17 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Water, Agriculture and Aquaculture)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: transparent and black films; heat transfer; drip irrigation; water use efficiency transparent and black films; heat transfer; drip irrigation; water use efficiency
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Y.; Feng, R.; Nie, W.; Wang, F.; Feng, S. Plastic Film Mulch Performed Better in Improving Heat Conditions and Drip Irrigated Potato Growth in Northwest China than in Eastern China. Water 2020, 12, 2906.

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