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Effects of Residual Mulch Film on the Growth and Fruit Quality of Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.)

Zou, Xiaoyang, Niu, Wenquan, Liu, Jingjing, Li, Yuan, Liang, Bohui, Guo, Lili, Guan, Yahui
Water, air, and soil pollution 2017 v.228 no.2 pp. 71
Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, agricultural plastics, ascorbic acid, biomass, crop yield, fruit quality, greenhouses, hydrodynamics, lycopene, mulches, nitrates, pollutants, soil water, solutes, sugar content, surface area, sustainable development, tomatoes, China
The quantities of residual mulch film in the soil will further increase with the wide application of agricultural plastic mulch film, and the pollution of residual mulch film, which is a continuous pollutant and the one that is difficult to degrade, is a major limiting factor for the sustainable development of agriculture in China. Residual mulch film in the soil inevitably affects soil hydrodynamic parameters, destroys the homogeneity of the soil texture, seriously impedes the movement of soil water and solutes, and thus greatly influences crop growth and fruit quality. To unravel the effects of residual mulch film on tomato growth and fruit quality, pot experiments in the greenhouse were carried out in 2015 and 2016 in Northwest China. Six levels of residual mulch film were applied: 0 kg ha⁻¹ (CK), 80 kg ha⁻¹ (T1), 160 kg ha⁻¹ (T2), 320 kg ha⁻¹ (T3), 640 kg ha⁻¹ (T4), and 1280 kg ha⁻¹ (T5). Plant height, stem diameter, dry biomass, yield, root length, root surface area, fruit shape index (FSI), soluble sugar content (SSC), organic acid (OA), vitamin C (VC), lycopene, and nitrate content (NC) were measured. Plant height, stem diameter, dry biomass, and yield of tomato had a downward trend as the residual mulch film amount increased. Root length and root surface area were significantly decreased with an increasing amount of residual mulch film, but root volume and root diameter showed an inconspicuous decrease. When the amount of residual mulch film was more than 80 kg ha⁻¹, growth indexes, dry biomass, and yield of tomato showed a sharp decline. FSI, OA, and lycopene decreased as the residual mulch film amount increased, whereas SSC, VC, and NC showed an increase trend. With the increase in residual mulch film amount, the F and membership function values (X μ) all showed a declining trend in comparison to the CK. Therefore, residual mulch film can aggravate the negative effects on the comprehensive fruit quality of tomato.