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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2021, Vol. 20 Issue (11): 3003-3011    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63296-8
Special Issue: 农业生态环境-肥料及施用合辑Agro-ecosystem & Environment—Fertilizer
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Divergent responses of tiller and grain yield to fertilization and fallow precipitation: Insights from a 28-year long-term experiment in a semiarid winter wheat system
WANG Rui1, 2, 3, WANG Ying2, 3, HU Ya-xian2, 3, DANG Ting-hui2, 3, GUO Sheng-li2, 3 
1 College of Forestry, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, P.R.China
2 State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, P.R.China
3 Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences & Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100, P.R.China
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分蘖是冬小麦生长的重要过程,可以显著影响冬小麦的穗数及产量。夏季休闲(7~9月)是黄土高原地区冬小麦生产实践中一项重要的耕作制度,有助于保证该区域粮食安全。目前,探讨分蘖对施肥和休闲季降雨量的响应研究相对较少。本研究利用长期田间肥料试验(1990~2017)中4个典型处理(不施肥,单施氮肥,单施磷肥和氮磷肥配施),结合降雨年型(干旱年和湿润年)分析了施肥措施和休闲季降雨对冬小麦分蘖数的影响。结果表明:与不施肥相比,单施磷肥显著增加冬小麦分蘖数(23%),并且湿润年增幅高于干旱年增幅(29% vs. 17%);氮磷肥配施中分蘖数多年平均增幅为30%,干旱年为17%,湿润年高达45%;单施氮肥对分蘖数无显著影响。干旱年中分蘖数与休闲季降雨存在显著的正相关关系,但湿润年分蘖数对休闲季降雨的响应在施肥措施间存在差异。不施肥和氮磷肥配施处理中,干旱年和湿润年休闲季降雨量增加均会促进冬小麦分蘖,而在单施氮肥和单施磷肥处理中,休闲季降雨量增加会抑制冬小麦分蘖。该研究结果揭示了休闲季降雨和肥料施用对冬小麦分蘖的影响,有助于深入探究雨养农业区域内冬小麦产量的变化特征。

Tillering is an important phenological stage, which is strongly related to the yield in spike components and final grain yield during winter wheat growth.  Precipitation during the fallow season (fallow precipitation) influences tillering in winter wheat on the semi-arid Chinese Loess Plateau.  However, little work has been done regarding tiller number changes under various types of fertilization and amounts of fallow precipitation on a long-term scale.  Effects of fallow precipitation and fertilization on tiller were investigated in a winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) system in a 28-year field study (1990 to 2017) in a semiarid agro-ecosystem.  Tiller number, spike number and grain yield were measured in four fertilization conditions: control without fertilizer (CK); mineral nitrogen fertilizer alone (N); mineral phosphorus fertilizer alone (P); mineral nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer together (NP).  Based on the long-term annual fallow precipitation, dry years (<mean annual fallow precipitation) and wet years (>mean annual fallow precipitation) were distinguished.  Phosphorus fertilization alone significantly increased the mean annual tiller number (23%), and the increase in tiller number was higher in wet years (29%) than in the dry years (17%).  However, nitrogen fertilization alone had little effect on mean tiller number, while nitrogen and phosphorus together significantly increased mean annual tiller number (30%), mean tiller number in wet years (45%) and mean tiller number in dry years (17%).  Tiller number was significantly and positively correlated with fallow precipitation in dry years for all fertilizer treatments, whereas it was weakly and either positively or negatively correlated with fallow precipitation in wet years depending on the treatment.  This study found positive correlations between tiller number and fallow precipitation in the CK and NP treatments, and it found negative correlations between tiller number and fallow precipitation in the treatments with nitrogen fertilization alone or phosphorous fertilization alone in wet years.  Understanding the impacts of fallow precipitation and fertilization on tiller development shed light on ways to improve crop production in rain-fed agricultural regions.
Keywords:  tiller        grain yield        nutrient deficiency        fallow precipitation        winter wheat  
Received: 10 April 2020   Accepted: 17 September 2021
Fund: This work was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0800105) and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2018M643755).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence GUO Sheng-li, Tel: +86-29-87018845, E-mail:   
About author:  WANG Rui, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

WANG Rui, WANG Ying, HU Ya-xian, DANG Ting-hui, GUO Sheng-li. 2021. Divergent responses of tiller and grain yield to fertilization and fallow precipitation: Insights from a 28-year long-term experiment in a semiarid winter wheat system. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 20(11): 3003-3011.

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