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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2016, Vol. 15 Issue (7): 1480-1489    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(15)61184-4
Physiology·Biochemistry·Cultivation·Tillage Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Stand establishment, root development and yield of winter wheat as affected by tillage and straw mulch in the water deficit hilly region of southwestern China
LI Chao-su1, LI Jin-gang2, TANG Yong-lu1, WU Xiao-li1, WU Chun1, HUANG Gang1, ZENG Hui3
1 Crop Research Institute, Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Chengdu 610066, P.R.China
2 College of Agriculture, Sichuan Agricultural University, Wenjiang 611130, P.R.China
3 Agricultural Bureau of Jianyang City, Jianyang 621700, P.R.China
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Abstract     Good crop stand establishment and root system development are essential for optimum grain yield of dryland wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). At present, little is known about the effect of tillage and straw mulch on the root system of wheat under dryland areas in southwestern China. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of three tillage treatments (no-till, NT; rotary till, RT; conventional till, CT) and two crop residue management practices (straw mulch, ML; non-straw mulch, NML) on stand establishment, root growth and grain yield of wheat. NT resulted in lower soil cover thickness for the wheat seed, higher number of uncovered seeds, lower percentage of seedling-less ridges and lower tiller density compared to RT and CT; ML resulted in higher tiller density compared to NML. Straw mulching resulted in more soil water content and root length density (RLD) at most of the growth stages and soil depths. The maximum RLD, root surface area density and root dry matter density were obtained under NT. In the topmost 10 cm soil layer, higher RLD values were found under NT than those under RT and CT. There were no significant differences in the yield or yield components of wheat among the tillage treatments in 2011–2012, but NT resulted in a significant higher yield compared to RT and CT in 2012–2013. Grain yield was significantly higher in ML compared to in NML. A strong relationship was observed between the water-use efficiency and the grain yield. Both NT and ML proved beneficial for wheat in term of maintaining higher tiller density, better soil water status and root growth, leading to a higher grain yield and enhanced water-use efficiency, especially in a low rainfall year.
Keywords:  wheat        tillage        mulch        stand establishment        yield        Triticum aestivum  
Received: 01 July 2015   Accepted: 06 July 2016

This work was supported by the China Agriculture Research System (CARS-3) and the Public Welfare Industry (Agriculture) Scientific Research of China (200903010-06).

Corresponding Authors:  TANG Yong-lu, Tel: +86-28-84504601, Fax: +86-28-84504230, E-mail:   

Cite this article: 

LI Chao-su, LI Jin-gang, TANG Yong-lu, WU Xiao-li, WU Chun, HUANG Gang, ZENG Hui. 2016. Stand establishment, root development and yield of winter wheat as affected by tillage and straw mulch in the water deficit hilly region of southwestern China. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 15(7): 1480-1489.

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