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Effects of emitter discharge rates on soil salinity distribution and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) yield under drip irrigation with plastic mulch in an arid region of Northwest China

Abstract

A field experiment was carried out to investigate the effects of different emitter discharge rates under drip irrigation on soil salinity distribution and cotton yield in an extreme arid region of Tarim River catchment in Northwest China. Four treatments of emitter discharge rates, i.e. 1.8, 2.2, 2.6 and 3.2 L/h, were designed under drip irrigation with plastic mulch in this paper. The salt distribution in the range of 70-cm horizontal distance and 100-cm vertical distance from the emitter was measured and analyzed during the cotton growing season. The soil salinity is expressed in terms of electrical conductivity (dS/m) of the saturated soil extract (ECe), which was measured using Time Domain Reflector (TDR) 20 times a year, including 5 irrigation events and 4 measured times before/after an irrigation event. All the treatments were repeated 3 times. The groundwater depth was observed by SEBA MDS Dipper 3 automatically at three experimental sites. The results showed that the order of reduction in averaged soil salinity was 2.6 L/h > 2.2 L/h > 1.8 L/h > 3.2 L/h after the completion of irrigation for the 3-year cotton growing season. Therefore, the choice of emitter discharge rate is considerably important in arid silt loam. Usually, the ideal emitter discharge rate is 2.4–3.0 L/h for soil desalinization with plastic mulch, which is advisable mainly because of the favorable salt leaching of silt loam and the climatic conditions in the studied arid area. Maximum cotton yield was achieved at the emitter discharge rate of 2.6 L/h under drip irrigation with plastic mulch in silty soil at the study site. Hence, the emitter discharge rate of 2.6 L/h is recommended for drip irrigation with plastic mulch applied in silty soil in arid regions.

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Correspondence to Abudu Shalamu.

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Danierhan, S., Shalamu, A., Tumaerbai, H. et al. Effects of emitter discharge rates on soil salinity distribution and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) yield under drip irrigation with plastic mulch in an arid region of Northwest China. J. Arid Land 5, 51–59 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-013-0141-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-013-0141-7

Keywords

  • drip irrigation
  • soil salinity
  • salt balance
  • cotton yield
  • emitter discharge rate