Asymmetric Ridge–Furrow and Film Cover Improves Plant Morphological Traits and Light Utilization in Rain-Fed Maize
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© 2018, The Chinese Meteorological Society and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Light is one of the most important natural resources for plant growth. Light interception (LI) and use efficiency (LUE) are often affected by the structure of canopy caused by growing pattern and agronomy managements. Agronomy practices, such as the ridge–furrow system and plastic film cover, might affect the leaf morphology and then light transmission within the canopy, thus change light extinction coefficient (k), and LI and LUE. The objective of this study is to quantify LI and LUE in rain-fed maize (Zea Mays L.), a major cropping system in Northeast China, under different combinations of ridge–furrow and film covering ratios. The tested ridge–furrow system (DRF: “double ridges and furrows”) was asymmetric and alternated with wide ridge (0.70 m in width and 0.15 m in height), narrow furrow (0.10 m), narrow ridge (0.40 m in width and 0.20 m in height), and narrow furrow (0.10 m). Field experiments were conducted in 2013 and 2014 in Jilin Province, Northeast China. Four treatments were tested: no ridges and plastic film cover (control, NRF), ridges without film cover (DRF0), ridges with 58% film cover (DRF58), and ridges with 100% film cover (DRF100). DRF0 significantly increased LI by 9% compared with NRF, while film cover showed a marginal improvement. Specific leaf area in DRF experiments with film cover was significantly lower than in NRF, and leaf angle was 16% higher than in NRF, resulting in a 4% reduction in k. LUE of maize was not increased by DRF0, but was significantly enhanced by covering film in other DRF experiments, especially by 22% in DRF100. The increase of LUE by film cover was due to a greater biomass production and a lower assimilation portioning to vegetative organs, which caused a higher harvest index. The results could help farmers to optimize maize managements, especially in the region with decreased solar radiation under climate change.
author list (cited authors)
Dong, W., Yu, H., Zhang, L., Wang, R., Wang, Q. i., Xue, Q., ... Pan, X.