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Open AccessArticle

Determination of Growth Stage-Specific Crop Coefficients (Kc) of Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus L.) under Salt Stress

State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
Crop Science Group, Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES), University of Bonn, Katzenburgweg 5, D-53115 Bonn, Germany
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ranka Junge
Water 2017, 9(3), 215;
Received: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 March 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
Crop coefficients (Kc) are important for the development of irrigation schedules, but few studies on Kc focus on saline soils. To propose the growth-stage-specific Kc values for sunflowers in saline soils, a two-year micro-plot experiment was conducted in Yichang Experimental Station, Hetao Irrigation District. Four salinity levels including non-salinized (ECe = 3.4–4.1 dS·m–1), low (ECe = 5.5–8.2 dS·m–1), moderate (ECe = 12.1–14.5 dS·m–1), and high (ECe = 18.3–18.5 dS·m–1) levels were arranged in 12 micro-plots. Based on the soil moisture observations, Vensim software was used to establish and develop a physically-based water flow in the soil-plant system (WFSP) model. Observations in 2012 were used to calibrate the WFSP model and acceptable accuracy was obtained, especially for soil moisture simulation below 5 cm (R2 > 0.6). The locally-based Kc values (LKc) of sunflowers in saline soils were presented according to the WFSP calibration results. To be specific, LKc for initial stages (Kc1) could be expressed as a function of soil salinity (R2 = 0.86), while R2 of LKc for rapid growth (Kc2), middle (Kc3), and mature (Kc4) stages were 0.659, 1.156, and 0.324, respectively. The proposed LKc values were also evaluated by observations in 2013 and the R2 for initial, rapid growth, middle, and mature stages were 0.66, 0.68, 0.56 and 0.58, respectively. It is expected that the LKc would be of great value in irrigation management and provide precise water application values for salt-affected regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: crop coefficient; modeling; salinity; sunflowers; Vensim crop coefficient; modeling; salinity; sunflowers; Vensim
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Hong, M.; Zeng, W.; Ma, T.; Lei, G.; Zha, Y.; Fang, Y.; Wu, J.; Huang, J. Determination of Growth Stage-Specific Crop Coefficients (Kc) of Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus L.) under Salt Stress. Water 2017, 9, 215.

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