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Influence of irrigation water discharge frequency on soil salt removal and rice yield in a semi-arid and saline-sodic area

Irrigation practice for rice culture can be especially challenging in areas with limited water supply and soil salinization. In this study, a field experiment to assess the effects of different water discharge frequencies on soil salt content, rice yield and water use efficiency on a saline-sodic soil is carried out in a semi-arid region of Northeast China. The experiment comprised of three frequency levels of discharge [9-time (I-9-30), 6-time (I-6-30) and 3-time (I-3-30) discharge, all followed with a 30-mm irrigation] in comparison with the traditional irrigation practice of 2-time discharge followed with an 80-mm irrigation (I-2-80). The initial hypothesis was that increasing discharge frequency would increase both salt reduction and rice yield. Daily precipitation was recorded by a nearby weather station, and evapotranspiration and soil water percolation rates were measured at experimental sites using soil pits. The measurements were used to establish a water balance for each treatment. Our results showed that soil salt reduction increased with the increasing discharge frequency at a 30-mm irrigation water depth. The 9-time discharge reduced a large amount of soil salt (995.0 kg ha−1) after five months of the study. Rice yield also increased with the increasing discharge frequency with a 30-mm irrigation water depth; however, when compared to the traditional 2-time discharge followed with an 80-mm irrigation, rice yield at the sites with more frequent discharge (i.e., I-9-30, I-6-30 and I-3-30) was 11%–18% lower. Because of this, rice yield and irrigation water use efficiency were significantly higher under the traditional practice of high-irrigation with low-frequency discharge (I-2-80) than under I-9-30, I-6-30 and I-3-30. These results indicate a need for a trade-off amongst salt reduction, rice yield and water use when considering selection of irrigation and discharge schedules. [authors abstract]

TitleInfluence of irrigation water discharge frequency on soil salt removal and rice yield in a semi-arid and saline-sodic area
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsChen, Y., Zhang, G., Xu , Y.J., Huang, Z.
Paginationp. 578 - 589; 5 tab.; 5 fig.
Date Published2013-05-07
PublisherMolecular Diversity Preservation International, Water Editorial Office, MDPI
Place PublishedBasel, Switzerland
Keywordschina songnen plain, food, irrigation, production, soil pollution, water management
Abstract

Irrigation practice for rice culture can be especially challenging in areas with limited water supply and soil salinization. In this study, a field experiment to assess the effects of different water discharge frequencies on soil salt content, rice yield and water use efficiency on a saline-sodic soil is carried out in a semi-arid region of Northeast China. The experiment comprised of three frequency levels of discharge [9-time (I-9-30), 6-time (I-6-30) and 3-time (I-3-30) discharge, all followed with a 30-mm irrigation] in comparison with the traditional irrigation practice of 2-time discharge followed with an 80-mm irrigation (I-2-80). The initial hypothesis was that increasing discharge frequency would increase both salt reduction and rice yield. Daily precipitation was recorded by a nearby weather station, and evapotranspiration and soil water percolation rates were measured at experimental sites using soil pits. The measurements were used to establish a water balance for each treatment. Our results showed that soil salt reduction increased with the increasing discharge frequency at a 30-mm irrigation water depth. The 9-time discharge reduced a large amount of soil salt (995.0 kg ha−1) after five months of the study. Rice yield also increased with the increasing discharge frequency with a 30-mm irrigation water depth; however, when compared to the traditional 2-time discharge followed with an 80-mm irrigation, rice yield at the sites with more frequent discharge (i.e., I-9-30, I-6-30 and I-3-30) was 11%–18% lower. Because of this, rice yield and irrigation water use efficiency were significantly higher under the traditional practice of high-irrigation with low-frequency discharge (I-2-80) than under I-9-30, I-6-30 and I-3-30. These results indicate a need for a trade-off amongst salt reduction, rice yield and water use when considering selection of irrigation and discharge schedules. [authors abstract]

NotesWith 41 references on p. 589-592
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