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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (5): 1215-1226    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(19)62679-1
Special Issue: 麦类耕作栽培合辑Triticeae Crops Physiology · Biochemistry · Cultivation · Tillage
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Improved soil characteristics in the deeper plough layer can increase grain yield of winter wheat
CHEN Jin1, 3*, PANG Dang-wei1, 3*, JIN Min2, 3*, LUO Yong-li1, 3, LI Hao-yu2, 3, LI Yong2, 3, WANG Zhen-lin2, 3 
1 College of Life Sciences, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an 271018, P.R.China
2 College of Agronomy, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an 271018, P.R.China
3 State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an 271018, P.R.China
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In the North China Plain (NCP), soil deterioration threatens winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production.  Although rotary tillage or plowing tillage are two methods commonly used in this region, research characterizing the effects of mixed tillage on soil characteristics and wheat yield has been limited.  A fixed-site field trial was carried out during 2011–2016 to examine the impacts of three tillage practices (5-year rotary tillage with maize straw removal (RT); 5-year rotary tillage with maize straw return (RS); and annual RS and with a deep plowing interval of 2 years (RS/DS)) on soil characteristics and root distribution in the plough layer.  Straw return significantly decreased soil bulk density, increased soil organic carbon (SOC) storage and SOC content, macro-aggregate proportion (R0.25) and its stability in the plough layer.  The RS/DS treatment significantly increased the SOC content, total nitrogen (TN), and root length density (RLD) in the 10–40 cm layer, and enhanced the proportion of RLD in the 20–30 and 30–40 cm layers.  In the 20–30 and 30–40 cm layers, an increase in SOC and TN could lead to higher grain production than commensurate increases in the surface layer, resulting in a sustainable increase in grain yield from the RS/DS treatment.  Thus, the RS/DS treatment could lead to high productivity of winter wheat by improving soil characteristics and root distribution at the deeper plough layer in the NCP.
Keywords:  soil characteristics        root length density        tillage practice        straw return        winter wheat  
Received: 21 January 2019   Accepted:
Fund: The research was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program; 2015CB150404), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0301001 and 2016YFD0300403), and the Shandong Province Mount Tai Industrial Talents Program, China.
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence LI Yong, E-mail:; WANG Zhen-lin, E-mail:   
About author:  * These authors contributed equally to this study.

Cite this article: 

CHEN Jin, PANG Dang-wei, JIN Min, LUO Yong-li, LI Hao-yu, LI Yong, WANG Zhen-lin. 2020.

Improved soil characteristics in the deeper plough layer can increase grain yield of winter wheat
. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 19(5): 1215-1226.

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