Please wait a minute...
Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2023, Vol. 22 Issue (1): 92-107    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.102
Crop Science Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Agronomic management practices in dryland wheat result in variations in precipitation use efficiency due to their differential impacts on the steps in the precipitation use process
YANG Wen-jia1*, LI Yu-lin2*, LIU Wei-jian1, WANG Shi-wen1, 3, 4, YIN Li-na1, 3, 4, DENG Xi-ping2, 3, 4
1 State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, P.R.China
2 College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, P.R.China
3 Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100,P.R. China
4 Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences & Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100, P.R.China
Download:  PDF in ScienceDirect  
Export:  BibTeX | EndNote (RIS)      
摘要  在旱地作物生产中,低的降水利用效率(PUE)是导致其作物减产的重要原因之一。一般而言,PUE的高低取决于一个连续的、包含几个阶段的水分转化过程:即降水入渗到土壤中,入渗的降水被土壤储存,储存的降水通过蒸腾或蒸发被消耗,蒸腾消耗的降水被用于生产干物质,干物质重新转运分配至籽粒。这些阶段可以通过六个比率来量化:即降水入渗率(SW/SWe;SW,总有效水量,SWe,特定时期结束时的土壤有效储水量),降水留存率(SWe/P;P,有效降水),降水消耗率(ET/SW;ET,作物耗水量),蒸腾比率(T/ET;T,作物蒸腾量),蒸腾效率(B/T;B,地上部干物质增量)和收获指数(Y/B;Y,经济产量)。基于以上比率,PUE可以通过下述公式进行计算,即PUE=SWe/P×SW/SWe×ET/SW×T/ET×B/T×Y/B。在一个特定的生产体系中,量化这些比率有利于通过优化相应的农艺措施,进而有计划地改善PUE。在本研究中,我们量化并评估了四个农艺措施管理体系下的PUE的各个比率。结果表明,与传统的农民体系和高氮体系相比,施用有机肥或生物炭体系下的PUE和小麦产量显著提高了8–31%。相比于农民和高氮体系:在入渗和储存阶段,有机肥和生物炭体系降低了降水留存率,但提高了降水入渗率;在消耗阶段,由于返青期前耗水量减少而返青期后耗水量增加,施用有机肥和生物炭体系下的全年降水消耗率并未增加,但蒸腾比率显著提高;在最后两个阶段,蒸腾效率和收获指数仅在不同年际间差异较大,受不同处理的影响较小。因此,若想通过优化农艺措施提高旱地小麦PUE和产量,应着重于增加蒸腾比率及降水入渗率,同时保持全年降水消耗率不变以及收获时相对较低的降水留存率。

Abstract  Yield loss due to low precipitation use efficiency (PUE) occurs frequently in dryland crop production.  PUE is determined by a complicated process of precipitation use in farmland, which includes several sequential steps: precipitation infiltrates into the soil, the infiltrated precipitation is stored in soil, the soil-stored precipitation is consumed through transpiration or evaporation, transpired precipitation is used to produce dry-matter, and finally dry-matter is re-allocated to grains.  These steps can be quantified by six ratios: precipitation infiltration ratio (SW/SWe; SW, total available water; SWe, available soil water storage at the end of a specific period), precipitation storage ratio (SWe/P; P, effective precipitation), precipitation consumption ratio (ET/SW; ET, evapotranspiration), ratio of crop transpiration to evapotranspiration (T/ET; T, crop transpiration), transpiration efficiency (B/T; B, the increment of shoot biomass) and harvest index (Y/B; Y, grain yield).  The final efficiency is then calculated as: PUE=SWe/P×SW/SWe×ET/SW×T/ET×B/T×Y/B.  Quantifying each of those ratios is crucial for the planning and execution of PUE improvements and for optimizing the corresponding agronomic practices in a specific agricultural system.  In this study, those ratios were quantified and evaluated under four integrated agronomic management systems.  Our study revealed that PUE and wheat yield were significantly increased by 8–31% under manure (MIS) or biochar (BIS) integrated systems compared to either conventional farmers’ (CF) or high N (HN) integrated systems.  In the infiltration and storage steps, MIS and BIS resulted in lower SWe/P but higher SW/SWe compared with CF and HN.  Regarding the consumption step, the annual ET/SW under MIS and BIS did not increase due to the higher ET after regreening and the lower ET before regreening compared with CF or HN.  The T/ET was significantly higher under MIS and BIS than under CF or HN.  In the last two steps, transpiration efficiency and harvest index were less strongly affected by the agronomic management system, although both values varied considerably across the different experimental years.  Therefore, attempts to achieve higher PUE and yields in rainfed wheat through agronomic management should focus on increasing the T/ET and SW/SWe, while maintaining ET/SW throughout the year and keeping SWe/P relatively low at harvest time.
Keywords:  precipitation use process        precipitation use efficiency        yield        rainfed agriculture  
Received: 29 July 2021   Accepted: 08 September 2021
Fund: The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2021YFD1900705), the National Basic Research Program of China (2015CB150402), and the National Key 
Technology R&D Program of China (2015BAD22B01).

About author:  Correspondence YIN Li-na, Tel: +86-29-87012871, Fax: +86-29-87012210, E-mail: * These authors contributed equally to this study.

Cite this article: 

YANG Wen-jia, LI Yu-lin, LIU Wei-jian, WANG Shi-wen, YIN Li-na, DENG Xi-ping. 2023. Agronomic management practices in dryland wheat result in variations in precipitation use efficiency due to their differential impacts on the steps in the precipitation use process. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 22(1): 92-107.

Al-Wabel M L, Hussain Q, Usman A R A, Ahmad M, Abduljabbar A, Sallam A S, Ok Y S. 2017. Impact of biochar properties on soil conditions and agricultural sustainability: A review. Land Degradation and Development, 29, 2124–2161.
Angus J F, Herwaarden A F V. 2001. Increasing water use and water use efficiency in dryland wheat. Agronomy Journal, 93, 290–298.
Bauer A, Black A L. 1992. Organic carbon effects on available water capacity of three soil textural groups. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 56, 248–254.
Bhatta M, Eskridge K M, Rose D J, Santra D K, Baenziger P S, Regassa T. 2017. Seeding rate, genotype, and topdressed nitrogen effects on yield and agronomic characteristics of winter wheat. Crop Science, 57, 951–963.
Bormann H, Klaassen K. 2008. Seasonal and land use dependent variability of soil hydraulic and soil hydrological properties of two northern German soils. Geoderma, 145, 295–302.
Bradford J B, Schlaepfer D R, Lauenroth W K, Yackulic C B, Duniway M, Hall S, Jia G S, Jamiyansharav K, Munson S M, Wilson S D, Tietjen W. 2017. Future soil moisture and temperature extremes imply expanding suitability for rainfed agriculture in temperate drylands. Scientific Reports, 7, 12923.
Burgess M, Miller P, Jones C, Bekkerman A. 2014. Tillage of cover crops affects soil water, nitrogen, and wheat yield components. Agronomy Journal, 106, 1497–1508. 
Chen S Y, Zhang X Y, Sun H Y, Ren T S, Wang Y M. 2010. Effects of winter wheat row spacing on evapotranspiration, grain yield and water use efficiency. Agricultural Water Management, 97, 1126–1132.
Eberbach P, Pala M. 2005. Crop row spacing and its influence on the partitioning of evapotranspiration by winter-grown wheat in northern Syria. Plant and Soil, 268, 195–208.
Gardner W H. 1986. Water content. In: Klute A, ed., Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 1. Physical and Mineralogical Methods-Agronomy Monograph No. 9. 2nd ed. American Society of Agronomy, Madison. pp. 493–544.
Ghosh P K, Ajay, Bandyopadhyay K K, Manna M C, Mandal K G, Misra A K, Hati K M. 2004. Comparative effectiveness of cattle manure, poultry manure, phosphocompost and fertilizer-NPK on three cropping systems in vertisols of semi-arid tropics. II. Dry matter yield, nodulation, chlorophyll content and enzyme activity. Bioresource Technology, 95, 85–93.
Guo S L, Zhu H H, Dang T H, Wu J S, Liu W Z, Hao M D, Yong L, Syers J K. 2012. Winter wheat grain yield associated with precipitation distribution under long-term nitrogen fertilization in the semiarid Loess Plateau in China. Geoderma, 189, 442–450.
Hati K M, Mandal K G, Misra A K, Ghosh P K, Bandyopadhyay K K. 2006. Effect of inorganic fertilizer and farmyard manure on soil physical properties, root distribution, and water-use efficiency of soybean in vertisols of central India. Bioresource Technology, 97, 2182–2188.
Hu C L, Cheng Z, Sadras V O, Ding M, Yang X Y, Zhang S L. 2018. Effect of straw mulch and seeding rate on the harvest index, yield and water use efficiency of winter wheat. Scientific Reports, 8, 8167.
Jin K, Cornelis W M, Schiettecatte W, Lu J J, Yao Y Q, Wu H J, Gabriels D, De Neve S, Cai D X, Jin J Y, Hartmann R. 2007. Effects of different management practices on the soil–water balance and crop yield for improved dryland farming in the Chinese Loess Plateau. Soil and Tillage Research, 96, 131–144.
Jin N, Ren W, Tao B, He L, Ren Q F, Li S Q, Yu Q. 2018. Effects of water stress on water use efficiency of irrigated and rainfed wheat in the Loess Plateau, China. Science of the Total Environment, 642, 1–11.
Kang S Z, Zhang F C, Liu X M. 1995. Calculation method of the ratio between crop leaf transpiration and soil evaporation from farmland. Advance in Water Science, 4, 285–289. (in Chinese)
Kang Y, Wang Q G, Liu H J. 2005. Winter wheat canopy interception and its influence factors under sprinkler irrigation. Agricultural Water Management, 74, 189–199.
Kodur S. 2017. Improving the prediction of soil evaporation for different soil types under dryland cropping. Agricultural Water Management, 193, 131–141.
Li S X, Wang Z H, Li S Q, Gao Y J. 2015. Effect of nitrogen fertilization under plastic mulched and non-plastic mulched conditions on water use by maize plants in dryland areas of China. Agricultural Water Management, 162, 15–32.
Lin W, Liu W Z, Zhou S S, Liu C F. 2019. Influence of plastic film mulch on maize water use efficiency in the Loess Plateau of China. Agricultural Water Management, 224, 105710.
Liu W J. 1997. The structure and significance of a united formula of crop rainwater use efficiency in dryland farming. Journal of Soil Erosion and Soil and Water Conservation, 3, 62–66. (in Chinese)
Mortimore M, Anderson S, Cotula L, Davis J, Faccer K, Hesse C, Morton J. 2009. Dryland Opportunities: A New Paradigm for People, Ecosystems and Development. International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland, International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK and UNDP, New York.
Mosaddeghi M R, Mahboubi A A, Safadoust A, Hoogmoed W B. 2009. Short-term effects of tillage and manure on some soil physical properties and maize root growth in a sandy loam soil in western Iran. Soil and Tillage Research, 104, 173–179.
Passioura J B. 1977. Grain yield, harvest index, and water use of wheat. Journal of the Australian Institute of Agricultural, 43, 117–120.
Peng Z K, Wang L L, Xie J H, Li L L, Jeffrey A C, Zhang R Z, Luo Z Z, Cai L Q, Peter C, Anthony W. 2020. Conservation tillage increases yield and precipitation use efficiency of wheat on the semi-arid Loess Plateau of China. Agricultural Water Management, 231, 106024.
Pilbeam C J, Daamen C C, Simmonds L P. 1995. Analysis of water budgets in semi-arid lands from soil water records. Experimental Agriculture, 31, 131–149.
Siahpoosh M R, Dehghanian E. 2012. Water use efficiency, transpiration efficiency, and uptake efficiency of wheat during drought. Agronomy Journal, 69, 39–47.
Silva L L. 2007. Fitting infiltration equations to centre-pivot irrigation data in a Mediterranean soil. Agricultural Water Management, 94, 83–92.
Turner N C. 2004. Agronomic options for improving rainfall-use efficiency of crops in dryland farming systems. Journal of Experimental Botany, 55, 2413–2425.
Unkovich M, Baldock J, Farquharson R. 2018. Field measurements of bare soil evaporation and crop transpiration, and transpiration efficiency, for rainfed grain crops in Australia - A review. Agricultural Water Management, 205, 72–80.
Víctor O S, Garry J O, David K R. 2005. Crop responses to compacted soil: capture and efficiency in the use of water and radiation. Field Crops Research, 91, 131–148.
Wang L L, Palta J A, Chen W, Chen Y L, Deng X P. 2018. Nitrogen fertilization improved water-use efficiency of winter wheat through increasing water use during vegetative rather than grain filling. Agricultural Water Management, 197, 41–53.
Xiao Q, Zhu L X, Zhang H P, Li X Y, Shen Y F, Li S Q. 2016. Soil amendment with biochar increases maize yields in a semi-arid region by improving soil quality and root growth. Crop & Pasture Science, 67, 495.
Xu X, Pang D W, Chen J, Luo Y L, Zheng M J, Yin Y P, Li Y X, Li Y. 2018. Straw return accompany with low nitrogen moderately promoted deep root. Field Crops Research, 221, 71–80.
Xue L Z, Khan S B, Sun M, Anwar S, Ren A X, Gao Z A, Lin W, Xue J F. 2019. Effects of tillage practices on water consumption and grain yield of dryland winter wheat under different precipitation distribution in the Loess Plateau of China. Soil and Tillage Research, 191, 66–74.
Yan H F, Zhang C, Oue H, Wang G Q, He B. 2015. Study of evapotranspiration and evaporation beneath the canopy in a buckwheat field. Theoretical & Applied Climatology, 122, 721–728.
Yang W J, Li Y L, Liu W J, Wang S W, Yin L N, Deng X P. 2021. Sustainable high yields can be achieved in drylands on the Loess Plateau by changing water use patterns through integrated agronomic management. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 296, 108210.
Zhang D B, Yao P W, Na Z, Cao W D, Zhang S Q, Li Y Y, Gao Y J. 2016. Soil water balance and water use efficiency of dryland wheat in different precipitation years in response to green manure approach. Scientific Reports, 6, 26856.
Zhang M M, Dong B D, Qiao Y Z, Yang H, Wang Y K, Liu M Y. 2018. Effects of sub-soil plastic film mulch on soil water and salt content and water utilization by winter wheat under different soil salinities. Field Crops Research, 225, 130–140.

[1] TIAN Jin-yu, LI Shao-ping, CHENG Shuang, LIU Qiu-yuan, ZHOU Lei, TAO Yu, XING Zhi-peng, HU Ya-jie, GUO Bao-wei, WEI Hai-yan, ZHANG Hong-cheng. Increasing the appropriate seedling density for higher yield in dry direct-seeded rice sown by a multifunctional seeder after wheat-straw return[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2023, 22(2): 400-416.
[2] JIANG Hui, GAO Ming-wei, CHEN Ying, ZHANG Chao, WANG Jia-bao, CHAI Qi-chao, WANG Yong-cui, ZHENG Jin-xiu, WANG Xiu-li, ZHAO Jun-sheng. Effect of the L-D1 alleles on leaf morphology, canopy structure and photosynthetic productivity in upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2023, 22(1): 108-119.
[3] LI Teng, ZHANG Xue-peng, LIU Qing, LIU Jin, CHEN Yuan-quan, SUI Peng. Yield penalty of maize (Zea mays L.) under heat stress in different growth stages: A review[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(9): 2465-2476.
[4] TIAN Chang, SUN Ming-xue, ZHOU Xuan, LI Juan, XIE Gui-xian, YANG Xiang-dong, PENG Jian-wei. Increase in yield and nitrogen use efficiency of double rice with long-term application of controlled-release urea[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(7): 2106-2118.
[5] Ebrahim ROOHI, Reza MOHAMMADI, Abdoul Aziz NIANE, Javad VAFABAKHSH, Mozaffar ROUSTAEE, Mohammad Reza JALAL KAMALI, Shahriar SOHRABI, Shahriar FATEHI, Hossain TARIMORADI. Genotype×tillage interaction and the performance of winter bread wheat genotypes in temperate and cold dryland conditions[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(11): 3199-3215.
[6] XIE Jun, Blagodatskaya EVGENIA, ZHANG Yu, WAN Yu, HU Qi-juan, ZHANG Cheng-ming, WANG Jie, ZHANG Yue-qiang, SHI Xiao-jun. Substituting nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer with optimal amount of crop straw improved rice grain yield, nutrient use efficiency and soil carbon sequestration[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2022, 21(11): 3345-3355.
[7] LIU Xue-jing, YIN Bao-zhong, HU Zhao-hui, BAO Xiao-yuan, WANG Yan-dong, ZHEN Wen-chao. Physiological response of flag leaf and yield formation of winter wheat under different spring restrictive irrigation regimes in the Haihe Plain, China[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(9): 2343-2359.
[8] CHEN Yuan, LIU Zhen-yu, HENG Li, Leila I. M. TAMBEL, ZHANG Xiang, CHEN Yuan, CHEN De-hua. Effects of plant density and mepiquat chloride application on cotton boll setting in wheat–cotton double cropping system[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(9): 2372-2381.
[9] LIU Zheng-chun, WANG Chao, BI Ru-tian, ZHU Hong-fen, HE Peng, JING Yao-dong, YANG Wu-de. Winter wheat yield estimation based on assimilated Sentinel-2 images with the CERES-Wheat model[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(7): 1958-1968.
[10] YAO Bo, HE Hai-bing, XU Hao-cong, ZHU Tie-zhong, LIU Tao, KE Jian, YOU Cui-cui, ZHU De-quan, WU Li-quan. Determining nitrogen status and quantifying nitrogen fertilizer requirement using a critical nitrogen dilution curve for hybrid indica rice under mechanical pot-seedling transplanting pattern[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(6): 1474-1486.
[11] WANG Yi-bo, HUANG Rui-dong, ZHOU Yu-fei. Effects of shading stress during the reproductive stages on photosynthetic physiology and yield characteristics of peanut (Arachis hypogaea Linn.)[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(5): 1250-1265.
[12] LIU Hang, TANG Hua-ping, LUO Wei, MU Yang, JIANG Qian-tao, LIU Ya-xi, CHEN Guo-yue, WANG Ji-rui, ZHENG Zhi, QI Peng-fei, JIANG Yun-feng, CUI Fa, SONG Yin-ming, YAN Gui-jun, WEI Yuming, LAN Xiu-jin, ZHENG You-liang, MA Jian. Genetic dissection of wheat uppermost-internode diameter and its association with agronomic traits in five recombinant inbred line populations at various field environments[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(11): 2849-2861.
[13] MENG Lu, ZHANG Li-zhen, QI Hai-kun, DU Ming-wei, ZUO Yan-li, ZHANG Ming-cai, TIAN Xiao-li, LI Zhao-hu. Optimizing the application of a novel harvest aid to improve the quality of mechanically harvested cotton in the North China Plain[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(11): 2892-2899.
[14] XIAO Jing-xiu, ZHU Ying-an, BAI Wen-lian, LIU Zhen-yang, TANG Li, ZHENG Yi. Yield performance and optimal nitrogen and phosphorus application rates in wheat and faba bean intercropping[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(11): 3012-3025.
[15] DAI Zhi-guang, FEI Liang-jun, ZENG Jian, HUANG De-liang, LIU Teng. Optimization of water and nitrogen management for surge-root irrigated apple trees in the Loess Plateau of China[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(1): 260-273.
No Suggested Reading articles found!