Skip to main content

Effects of water management and organic fertilization with SRI crop practices on hybrid rice performance and rhizosphere dynamics


A field experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of intermittent versus continuous irrigation, together with different degrees of organic fertilization, on the growth and yield of hybrid rice, looking also at the functioning of the rhizosphere as this is a key element affecting crop performance. The crop management practices employed generally followed the recommendations of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). The aim of the research was to learn how water management and organic fertilization together would affect crop outcomes. Under intermittent water application as recommended with SRI management (aerobic irrigation, AI), grain yield increased by 10.5–11.3%, compared to standard irrigation practice (continuous flooding, CF). The factor that contributed most to higher yield was increased number of grains per panicle. It was seen that under the range of organic fertilization treatments evaluated, intermittent irrigation compared with CF promoted greater dry matter production and higher leaf area index (LAI) during the main growth stages. Also, the combination of intermittent irrigation and organic material applications significantly increased soil redox potential (Eh), compared with CF, and also the numbers of actinomycetes in the rhizosphere soil. Actinomycetes were evaluated in this study as an indicator of aerobic soil biota. It was seen that with intermittent irrigation, the application of organic material improved the functioning of the rhizosphere and increased yield. However, these results based on 2 years of study reflect relatively short-term effects. The effects of longer-term water management and soil fertilization regimes should be also examined, to know whether these effects continue and, if they do, whether they become greater or less.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  • Anas I, Rupela OP, Thiyagarajan TM, Uphoff N (2010) Effects of SRI on beneficial organisms in rice rhizospheres and soil. Paddy Water Environ (this issue)

  • Arslan E, Öbek E, Kirbag S, İpek U, Topal M (2008) Determination of the effect of compost on soil microorganisms. Int J Sci Technol 3:151–159

    Google Scholar 

  • Bouman BA, Tuong TP (2001) Field water management to save water and increase its productivity in irrigated lowland rice. Agric Water Manag 49:11–30

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lei M, Ding W, Cai Z (2005) Long-term application of organic manure and nitrogen fertilizer on N2O emissions, soil quality and crop production in a sandy loam soil. Soil Biol Biochem 37:2037–2045

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lin XQ, Zhou F, Zhu DF (2006) Nitrogen accumulation remobilization and partitioning in rice (Oryza sativa L.) under an improved irrigation practice. Field Crops Res 96:228–454

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mishra A, Salokhe VM (2010) The effects of planting pattern and water regime on root morphology, physiology and grain yield of rice. J Agron Crop Sci. doi:10.1111/j.1439-037X.2010.00421.x

  • Ramirez LMA, Claassen N, Ubiera AA (2002) Effect of phosphorus, potassium and zinc fertilizers on iron toxicity in wetland rice (Oryza sativa L). Plant Soil 239:197–206

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Singh Y, Singh B, Ladha JK, Khind CS, Gupta RK, Meelu OP, Pasuquin E (2004) Long-term effects of organic inputs on yield and soil fertility in the rice–wheat rotation. Soil Sci Soc Am J 68:845–853

    Google Scholar 

  • Solaimalai A, Sivakumar C, Chandrasekaran R, Sankaranarayanan K, Sudhakar G (2000) Water management practices for rice—a review. Agric Rev 21:53–59

    Google Scholar 

  • Tan ZJ, Feng YH, Liu F (2004) Effects of rice-based cropping system and organic manure on microbes and enzyme activities in paddy soils derived from red earth. Chin J Eco-Agric 12:121–123

    Google Scholar 

  • Timsina J, Connor DJ (2001) Productivity and management of rice–wheat cropping systems: issues and challenges. Field Crops Res 69:93–142

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yang CM, Yong L, Yang Y, Zhu O (2004) Rice root growth and nutrient uptake as influenced by organic matter in continuously and alternately flooded paddy soils. Agric Water Manag 70:67–81

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhao LM, Wu LH, Li YS, Lu XH, Zhu DF, Uphoff N (2009) Influence of the System of Rice Intensification on rice yield and nitrogen and water use efficiency with different N application rates. Exp Agric 45:275–286

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhong FN, Liu SF (2010) Water: an emerging critical factor in Chinese rice production and trade. In: Fukashi K et al (eds) Sustainability in food and water: an Asian perspective. Springer, Berlin, pp 219–230

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Zhu ZL, Chen DL (2002) Nitrogen fertilizer use in China: contributions to food policy, impacts on the environment, and best management strategies. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 63:117–127

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xianqing Lin.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lin, X., Zhu, D. & Lin, X. Effects of water management and organic fertilization with SRI crop practices on hybrid rice performance and rhizosphere dynamics. Paddy Water Environ 9, 33–39 (2011).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Aerobic irrigation
  • Hybrid rice
  • Rhizosphere
  • Rice growth