Advertisement

Plant and Soil

, Volume 337, Issue 1–2, pp 325–339 | Cite as

Effects of irrigation and nitrogen application rates on nitrate nitrogen distribution and fertilizer nitrogen loss, wheat yield and nitrogen uptake on a recently reclaimed sandy farmland

  • Qi Wang
  • Fengrui Li
  • Lin Zhao
  • Enhe ZhangEmail author
  • Shangli Shi
  • Wenzhi Zhao
  • Weixin Song
  • Maureen M. Vance
Regular Article

Abstract

Monitoring of drinking water has shown an increase in nitrate-nitrogen (NO 3 -N) concentration in groundwater in some areas of the Heihe River Basin, Northwest China. A combination of careful irrigation and nitrogen (N) management is needed to improve N uptake efficiency and to minimize fertilizer N loss. A 2-year experiment investigated the effects of different irrigation and N application rates on soil NO 3 -N distribution and fertilizer N loss, wheat grain yield and N uptake on recently reclaimed sandy farmland. The experiment followed a completely randomized split-plot design, taking flood irrigation (0.6, 0.8 and 1.0 of the estimated evapotranspiration) as main plot treatment and N-supply as split-plot treatment (with five levels of 0, 79, 140, 221, 300 kg N ha−1). Fertilizer N loss was calculated according to N balance equation. Our results showed that, under deficit irrigation conditions, N fertilizer application at a rate of 300 kg ha−1 promoted NO 3 -N concentration in 0–200 cm depth soil profiles, and treatments with 221 kg N ha−1 also increased soil NO 3 -N concentrations only in the surface layers. Fertilizer N rates of 70 and 140 kg ha−1 did not increase NO 3 -N concentration in the 0–200 cm soil profile remaining after the spring wheat growing season. The amount of residual NO 3 -N in soil profiles decreased with the amount of irrigation. Compared with N0, the increases of fertilizer N loss, in N79, N140, N221 and N300 respectively, were 59.9, 104.6, 143.5 and 210.6 kg ha−1 over 2 years. Under these experimental conditions, a N rate of 221 kg ha−1 obtained the highest values of grain yield (2775 kg ha−1), above-ground dry matter (5310 kg ha−1) and plant N uptake (103.8 kg ha−1) over 2 years. The results clearly showed that the relative high grain yield and irrigation water productivity, and relative low N loss were achieved with application of 221 kg N ha−1 and low irrigation, the recommendation should be for those farmers who use the upper range of the recommended 150–400 kg N ha−1, that they can save about 45% of their N and 40% of their irrigation water application.

Keywords

Irrigation Nitrogen Nitrate nitrogen losses Grain yield Crop nitrogen uptake 

Abbreviations

ANOVA

analysis of variance

DM

above ground dry matter

ET

evapotranspiration

GY

grain yield

I0.6, I0.8 and I 1.0

irrigation treatment

IWP

irrigation water productivity

N

nitrogen

N0, N79, N140, N221 and N300

nitrogen application treatment

NUE

nitrogen use efficiency

PFP

partial fertilizer productivity

WUE

water-use efficiency

AE

agronomic efficiency

NF

nitrogen fertilizer recovery fraction

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the National Science and Technology Support Plan of China (2007BAD89B17), National Modern Pasture Industry Technology Research System, the National Basic Research Program (973) of China (2009CB421302), CAS/SAFEA International Partnership Program for Creative Research Teams (CXTD-Z2005-2-4) and National Natural Science Foundation (31060178). We thank would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for many helpful comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.

References

  1. Abad A, Lloveras J, Michelena A (2004) N fertilization and foliar urea effects on durum wheat yield and quality and on residual soil nitrate in irrigated Mediterranean conditions. Field Crop Res 87:257–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen RG, Jensen ME, Wright JL, Burman RD (1998) Operational estimates of reference evapotranspiration. Agron J 81:650–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andraski TW, Bundy LG, Brye KR (2000) Crop management and corn nitrogen rate effects on nitrate leaching. J Environ Qual 29:1095–1103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bao SD (2000) Soil and agricultural chemistry analysis. Edition III, Chinese Agriculture Press, Beijing (In Chinese), pp 42–49, 264–268Google Scholar
  5. Cui ZL, Chen XP, Li JL et al (2006) Effect of N fertilization on grain yield of winter wheat and apparent N losses. Pedosphere 16:806–812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Emteryd O (1989) Chemical and physical analysis of inorganic nutrients in plant, soil, water and air. Stencil No. 10. Umea, Sweden, pp 156–159Google Scholar
  7. Fan BQ, Hu CF, Ping JL (1998) Effect of irrigation and fertilization on nitrate leaching in loamy fluvo-qauic soil. Plant Nutr Fertil Sci 4:16–21 (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  8. Fang QX, Yu Q, Wang EL et al (2006) Soil nitrate accumulation, leaching and crop nitrogen use as influenced by fertilization and irrigation in an intensive wheat-maize double cropping system in the North China Plain. Plant Soil 284:335–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fredrick JR, Camberato JJ (1995a) Water and nitrogen effects on winter wheat in the Southeastern Central Plain: I. Grain yield and kernel traits. Agron J 87:521–526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fredrick JR, Camberato JJ (1995b) Water and nitrogen effects on winter wheat in the Southeastern Central Plain: physiological responses. Agron J 87:527–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ji XB, Kang ES, Zhao WZ et al (2004) Simulation of the evapotranspiration from irrigational farmlands in the oases of the Heihe River Basin. J Glaciol Geocryol 26:713–719 (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  12. Ju XT, Liu XJ, Zhang FS (2003) Accumulation and movement of NO3-N in soil profile in winter wheat—summer maize rotation system. Acta Pedo Sin 40:538–546 (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  13. Ju XT, Liu XJ, Zhang FS et al (2004) Nitrogen fertilization, soil nitrate accumulation and policy recommendations in several agricultural regions of China. Am Biol Teach 33:278–283Google Scholar
  14. Katterer T, Hansson AC, Andren O (1993) Wheat root biomass and nitrogen dynamics—effects of daily irrigation and fertilization. Plant Soil 151:21–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Li SJ, Zhou DX, Li JM (2001) Effect of different nitrogen application on yield, nitrogen distribution and utilization in winter wheat under soil water stress. Acta Agr Boreali-Sin 16:86–91 (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  16. Liu C, Jun X (2004) Water problems and hydrological research in the Yellow River and the Hai River Basin of China. Hydrol Process 18:2197–2210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Liu XJ, Ju XT, Zhang FS (2001) Effect of urea application as basal fertilizer on inorganic nitrogen in soil profile. J China Agric Univ 6:63–68 (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  18. Liu XJ, Ju XT, Zhang FS et al (2003) Nitrogen dynamics and budgets in a winter wheat-maize cropping system in the North China Plain. Field Crop Res 83:111–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ma JZ, Wang XS, Edmunds WM (2005) The characteristics of groundwater resources and their changes under the impacts of human activity in the arid North–West China—a case study of the Shiyang River Basin. J Arid Environ 61:277–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Norwood CA (2000) Water use and yield of limited-irrigated and dry land corn. Soil Sci Soc Am J 64:365–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. O’Neill PM, Shanahan JF, Schepers JS et al (2004) Agronomic responses of corn hybrids from different areas to deficit and adequate level of water and nitrogen. Agron J 96:1660–1667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Oikeh SO, Carsky RJ, Kling JG et al (2003) Differential N uptake by maize cultivars and soil nitrate dynamics under N fertilization in West Africa. Agric Ecosyst Environ 100:181–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ottman MJ, Pope NV (2000) Nitrogen fertilizer movement in the soil as influenced by nitrogen rate and timing in irrigated wheat. Soil Sci Soc Am J 64:1883–1892CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pandey RK, Maranville JW, Admou A (2001) Tropical wheat response to irrigation and nitrogen in a Sahelian environment. I. Grain yield, yield components and water use efficiency. Eur J Agron 15:93–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sexton BT, Moncrief JF, Rosen CJ et al (1996) Optimizing nitrogen and irrigation inputs for corn based on nitrate leaching and yield on a coarse-textured soil. J Environ Qual 25:982–992CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Su PX, Du MW, Zhao AF et al (2002) Study on water requirement law of some crops and different planting mode in oasis. Agr Res Arid Area 20:79–85 (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  27. Su YZ, Wang F, Suo DR et al (2006) Long-term effect of fertilizer and manure application on soil-carbon sequestration and soil fertility under the wheat—wheat-maize cropping system in Northwest China. Nutr Cycl Agroecosys 75:285–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Su YZ, Zhang ZH, Yang R (2007) Amount of irrigation and nitrogen application for maize grown on sandy farmland in the marginal oasis in the middle of Heihe River Basin. Acta Agr Sinic 33:2007–2015Google Scholar
  29. Xing GX, Zhu ZL (2000) An assessment of N loss from agricultural fields to the environment in China. Nutr Cycl Agroecosys 57:67–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Yang R, Su YZ (2008) Groundwater nitrate pollution in the oasis agricultural area in the middle reaches of Heihe River. Northwest China J Glaciol Geocryol 30:983–990 (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  31. Yang SM, Malhi SS, Song JR et al (2006) Crop yield, nitrogen uptake and nitrate-nitrogen accumulation in soil as affected by 23 annual applications of fertilizer and manure in the rainfed region of Northwestern China. Nutr Cycl Agroecosys 76:81–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Yin F, Fu B, Mao R (2007) Effects of nitrogen fertilizer application rates on nitrate nitrogen distribution in saline soil in the Hai River Basin, China. J Soil Sediment 7:136–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zhang WL, Tian ZX, Zhang N et al (1995) Investigation of nitrate pollution in ground water due to nitrogen fertilization in agriculture in Northern China. Plant Nutr Fertil Sci 1:80–87 (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  34. Zhang WL, Tian ZX, Zhang N et al (1996) Nitrate pollution of groundwater in Northern China. Agric Ecosyst Environ 59:223–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zhao RF, Chen XP, Zhang FS (2006) Fertilization and nitrogen balance in a wheat-maize rotation system in North China. Agron J 98:938–945CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zhao WZ, Liu B, Zhang ZH (2010) Water requirements of maize in the middle Heihe River basin, China. Agr Water Manage 97:215–223Google Scholar
  37. Zhu ZL, Wen QX (1992) Nitrogen in soils of China. Jiangsu Science and Technology Publishing House, Nanjing, China, pp 234–236Google Scholar
  38. Zhu ZL, Chen DL (2002) Nitrogen fertilizer use in China—contributions to food production, impacts on the environment and best management strategies. Nutr Cycl Agroecosys 63:117–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qi Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Fengrui Li
    • 2
  • Lin Zhao
    • 3
  • Enhe Zhang
    • 4
    Email author
  • Shangli Shi
    • 1
  • Wenzhi Zhao
    • 2
  • Weixin Song
    • 5
  • Maureen M. Vance
    • 6
  1. 1.College of Grassland ScienceGansu Agricultural UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Linze Inland River Basin Research Station, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  3. 3.Cryosphere Research Station of Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  4. 4.Agronomy CollegeGansu Agricultural UniversityLanzhouChina
  5. 5.College of ScienceGansu Agricultural UniversityLanzhouChina
  6. 6.The Adult Reading Assistance SchemeChristchurchNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations