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Optimizing nitrogen management to balance rice yield and environmental risk in the Yangtze River’s middle reaches
- Wang, Jing, Fu, Penghao, Wang, Fei, Fahad, Shah, Mohapatra, Pravat K., Chen, Yutiao, Zhang, Congde, Peng, Shaobing, Cui, Kehui, Nie, Lixiao, Huang, Jianliang
- Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.5 pp. 4901-4912
- absorption, cultivars, fertilizer rates, field experimentation, grain yield, nitrogen, nitrogen fertilizers, risk, soil, Yangtze River
- Currently, the urgency of balancing rice production and environmental risk from nitrogen (N) fertilization is gaining scientific and public attention. As such, a field experiment was conducted to investigate the rice yield and the fate of applied-¹⁵N for Yangliangyou 6 (a two-line hybrid cultivar) and Lvdaoq 7 (an inbred cultivar) using 10 combinations of N rates and splitting ratios in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River. The results showed that N application primarily affected fertilizer N loss to the environment, followed by plant N absorption, but had little effect on grain yield. Generally, there was no significant increase in grain yield and N accumulation in the aboveground plant when N inputs surpassed 130 or 170 kg ha⁻¹. Fertilizer N residue in soil peaked at approximately 48 kg ha⁻¹ at an N rate of 170 kg ha⁻¹ for both varieties; however, a sharp increase of fertilizer N loss occurred with further incrementally increasing N rates. Although a higher ratio of panicle-N fertilizer together with a lower ratio of tillering-N fertilizer at rates of 130, 170, and 210 kg ha⁻¹ had no grain yield benefit, it promoted aboveground N accumulation and plant N accumulation derived from fertilizer, and it reduced the amount of N residue in soil and N loss to the environment. Overall, reducing tillering-N ratios and increasing panicle-N ratios at an N rate between 130 and 170 kg ha⁻¹ using fertilizer rates of 90–0–40 kg ha⁻¹ and 90–40–40 kg ha⁻¹ N at basal-tillering-panicle initiation stages could reduce the adverse environmental risks of chemical N from rice production without sacrificing rice yield.