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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2019, Vol. 18 Issue (11): 2472-2482    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(19)62713-9
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The effects of soil moisture and salinity as functions of groundwater depth on wheat growth and yield in coastal saline soils
ZHANG He1, LI Yan1, MENG Ya-li1, CAO Nan1, LI Duan-sheng1, ZHOU Zhi-guo1, CHEN Bing-lin1, DOU Fu-gen2   
1 College of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University/Key Laboratory of Crop Physiology Ecology and Production Management, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs/Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Modern Crop Production, Nanjing 210095, P.R.China
2 Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center at Beaumont, Beaumont TX 77713, USA
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In the coastal saline soils, moisture and salinity are the functions of groundwater depth affecting crop growth and yield. Accordingly, the objectives of this study were to: 1) investigate the combined effects of moisture and salinity stresses on wheat growth as affected by groundwater depth, and 2) find the optimal groundwater depth for wheat growth in coastal saline soils. The groundwater depths (0.7, 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3, and 2.7 m during 2013–2014 (Y1) and 0.6, 1.0, 1.4, 1.8, 2.2, and 2.6 m during 2014–2015 (Y2)) of the field experiment were maintained by soil columns.  There was a positive correlation between soil moisture and salinity.  Water logging with high salinity (groundwater depth at 0.7 m in Y1 and 0.6 m in Y2) showed a greater decline towards wheat growth than that of slight drought with medium (2.3 m in Y1) or low salinity (2.7 m in Y1, 2.2 and 2.6 m in Y2).  The booting stage was the most sensitive stage of wheat crop under moisture and salinity stresses.  Data showed the most optimal rate of photosynthesis, grain yield, and flour quality were obtained under the groundwater depth (ditch depth) of 1.9 m (standard soil moisture with medium salinity) and 2.3 m (slight drought with medium salinity) in Y1 and 1.8 m (standard soil moisture with medium salinity) and 2.2 m (slight drought with low salinity) in Y2.  The corresponding optimal soil relative moisture content and conductivity with the 1:5 distilled water/soil dilution, in the depth of 0–20 cm and 20–40 cm in coastal saline soils, were equal to 58.67–63.07% and 65.51–72.66% in Y1, 63.09–66.70% and 69.75–74.72% in Y2; 0.86–1.01 dS m–1 and 0.63–0.77 dS m–1 in Y1, 0.57–0.93 dS m–1 and 0.40–0.63 dS m–1 in Y2, respectively.
Keywords:  couple stress       soil relative moisture content       soil conductivity        photosynthesis        growth stage  
Received: 26 December 2018   Accepted:
Fund: This work was funded by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFD0201900), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (KYYJ201802), the earmarked fund for China Agriculture Research System (CARS-15-14). 
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence CHEN Bing-lin, Tel/Fax: +86-25-84396129, E-mail:   

Cite this article: 

ZHANG He, LI Yan1, MENG Ya-li, CAO Nan, LI Duan-sheng, ZHOU Zhi-guo, CHEN Bing-lin, DOU Fu-gen . 2019.

The effects of soil moisture and salinity as functions of groundwater depth on wheat growth and yield in coastal saline soils
. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 18(11): 2472-2482.

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