Lint yield and nitrogen use efficiency of field-grown cotton vary with soil salinity and nitrogen application rate

Zhang, D. and Li, W. and Xin, C. and et al, . (2012) Lint yield and nitrogen use efficiency of field-grown cotton vary with soil salinity and nitrogen application rate. Field Crops Research, 138. pp. 63-70.

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Understanding salinity and fertilizer interaction is of great economic importance to improving crop yield and fertilizer use efficiency. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of nitrogen (N) rate on cotton yield and N use efficiency (NUE), and relate this to the optimum N fertilizer rate under saline field conditions. To achieve this goal, we conducted a two-year experiment in two nearby fields with similar fertility but varying salinity, using a split-plot design in the Yellow River Delta of China. The main plots were assigned to moderate (electrical conductivity of soil saturated paste extract, ECe = 6.3 dS/m) and high (ECe = 12.5 dS/m) salinity levels, while N-free (0 kg/ha), low (120 kg/ha), moderate (210 kg/ha) and high (300 kg N/ha) nitrogen rates were assigned to the subplots. The high-salinity soil produced 35% lower biological yield but 8.9% higher harvest index than the moderate-salinity soil. Biological yields were increased by 30% at low N rate, 35% at moderate N rate and 37% at high N rate. Under moderate salinity, moderate N rate produced more lint than other N rates; under the high salinity field, the low N rate produced lint yield comparable to the high- and moderate-N rates, being about 33% greater than that from 0-N rate. Moderate N rate was superior to high N rate but comparable to low rate based on agronomic NUE (aNUE), physiological NUE (pNUE), internal NUE (iNUE) and N recovery efficiency (NRE) under moderate salinity; under high salinity, the low N rate produced the greatest aNUE and NRE, and higher pNUE and iNUE than high N rate. Our overall results supported the use of moderate N rate for moderate salinity cotton fields and low N rate for high salinity fields in the saline Yellow River Delta and other cotton-growing areas with similar ecologies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This study was supported by the earmarked fund for China Agricultural Research System (CARS-18-21), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30971720) and the “948” Project (2011-G19).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cotton, Soil salinity, Nitrogen (N) rate, N use efficiency, Lint yield, Nutrient uptake
Author Affiliation: Cotton Research Center, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shandong Key Lab for Cotton Culture and Physiology, Jinan 250100, Shandong, China
Subjects: Soil Science and Microbiology > Soil Sciences
Divisions: Other Crops
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2012 08:21
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2012 08:21
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