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Can the drip irrigation under film mulch reduce crop evapotranspiration and save water under the sufficient irrigation condition?
- Qin, Shujing, Li, Sien, Kang, Shaozhong, Du, Taisheng, Tong, Ling, Ding, Risheng
- Agricultural water management 2016 v.177 pp. 128-137
- Zea mays, arid zones, border irrigation, corn, eddy covariance, energy balance, evapotranspiration, microirrigation, nutrition, plastic film mulches, soil water, soil water balance, China
- The technology of drip irrigation under film mulch has been widely extended in arid regions. However, is the technology sure to reduce crop evapotranspiration and save water under the sufficient irrigation condition? This question still remains uncertain. Our study attempted to investigate the effect of drip irrigation on soil water and crop evapotranspiration by setting contrast tests. Evapotranspiration (ET) and soil water were continuously measured over the maize field with two treatments during 2014-2015 in northwest China by eddy covariance (EC), Bowen ratio energy balance (BREB) and soil water balance (WB) methods simultaneously. The treatment I was in border irrigation under film mulch (site I), while the treatment II was in drip irrigation under film mulch (site II). The both treatments were under sufficient irrigation condition.Results indicate that the total maize ET over the whole crop season under drip irrigation treatment was slightly lower than that under border irrigation by 6.2%, 9.1% and 8.6% in 2014 and 4.0%, 7.6% and 10% in 2015 based on the measurements of WB, BREB and EC methods, respectively. However, the daily average ET under drip irrigation was nearly equal to that under border irrigation during the two years. The reduction in total ET under drip irrigation treatment was primarily caused by the shorter growth days. These may be due to that drip irrigation can provide adequate water and nutrition and the crop growth can be significantly enhanced.Our study revealed the effect of drip irrigation under film mulch on crop ET, and provided a new insight for understanding the hydrological processes under the partial irrigation condition.