Advertisement

Mulches for Soil and Water Conservation

  • Khawar Jabran
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Plant Science book series (BRIEFSPLANT)

Abstract

Although water-short environments produce lower quantities of agricultural commodities compared to the well-watered or irrigated regions, the role of food produced from these areas in the global food security cannot be undermined. Various kinds of mulches may be utilized to enhance the interception, retention, and infiltration and decrease the loss of rainwater in the arid zones of the world. Nevertheless, the use of mulches is equally useful and important for water conservation in the irrigated areas. Along with increasing the moisture retention in the soil, the mulches also reduce the surface moisture evaporation. Mulches achieve this drop in moisture evaporation from the soil surface by acting as a barrier to the evaporating moisture vapors, cooling the soil surface, and reducing the impact of sunlight energy. Plastic (particularly the black-colored polyethylene) mulch is considered more effective than the straw mulch in reducing the moisture evaporation from the soil surface and improving the soil moisture status. A few unique materials such as use of sand and gravel and volcanic residue have also been utilized and provided successful results for increasing soil water retention. Factors such as anthropogenic activities, climate change, or others do result in great loss to soil sustainability. Among several others, mulching has been suggested as a method that can prevent the soil erosion and provide a sustainable use of soil resources.

Keywords

Mulch Moisture conservation Water conservation Soil conservation Soil properties 

References

  1. Adimassu, Z., Langan, S., Johnston, R., Mekuria, W. and Amede, T., 2017. Impacts of soil and water conservation practices on crop yield, run-off, soil loss and nutrient loss in Ethiopia: review and synthesis. Environmental Management, 59(1), 87–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agassi, M., Hadas, A., Benyamini, Y., Levy, G.J., Kautsky, L., Avrahamov, L. and Zhevelev, H., 1998. Mulching effects of composted MSW on water percolation and compost degradation rate. Compost Science & Utilization, 6(3), 34–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bautista, S., Bellot, J. and Vallejo, V.R., 1996. Mulching treatment for postfire soil conservation in a semiarid ecosystem. Arid Land Research and Management, 10(3), 235–242.Google Scholar
  4. Chakraborty, D., Nagarajan, S., Aggarwal, P., Gupta, V.K., Tomar, R.K., Garg, R.N., Sahoo, R.N., Sarkar, A., Chopra, U.K., Sarma, K.S. and Kalra, N., 2008. Effect of mulching on soil and plant water status, and the growth and yield of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in a semi-arid environment. Agricultural Water Management, 95(12), 1323–1334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Díaz-Raviña, M., Martín, A., Barreiro, A., Lombao, A., Iglesias, L., Díaz-Fierros, F. and Carballas, T., 2012. Mulching and seeding treatments for post-fire soil stabilisation in NW Spain: short-term effects and effectiveness. Geoderma, 191, 31–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. García-Orenes, F., Cerdà, A., Mataix-Solera, J., Guerrero, C., Bodí, M.B., Arcenegui, V., Zornoza, R. and Sempere, J.G., 2009. Effects of agricultural management on surface soil properties and soil–water losses in eastern Spain. Soil and Tillage Research, 106(1), 117–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gu, X.B., Li, Y.N. and Du, Y.D., 2017. Biodegradable film mulching improves soil temperature, moisture and seed yield of winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.). Soil and Tillage Research, 171, 42–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Issaka, S. and Ashraf, M.A., 2017. Impact of soil erosion and degradation on water quality: a review. Geology, Ecology, and Landscapes, 1(1), 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jabran, K., Ehsan Ullah and N. Akbar, 2015b. Mulching improves crop growth, grain length, head rice and milling recovery of basmati rice grown in water-saving production systems. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology, 17, 920–928.  https://doi.org/10.17957/IJAB/15.0019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jabran, K., Ehsanullah, M. Hussain, M. Farooq, M. Yaseen, U. Zaman and B.S. Chauhan, 2015a. Mulching improves water productivity, yield and quality of fine rice under water-saving rice production systems. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science, 201, 389–400.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jac.12099.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jat, H.S., Singh, G., Singh, R., Choudhary, M., Jat, M.L., Gathala, M.K. and Sharma, D.K., 2015. Management influence on maize–wheat system performance, water productivity and soil biology. Soil Use and Management, 31(4), 534–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ji, S. and Unger, P.W., 2001. Soil water accumulation under different precipitation, potential evaporation, and straw mulch conditions. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 65(2), 442–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jun, F., Yu, G., Quanjiu, W., Malhi, S.S. and Yangyang, L., 2014. Mulching effects on water storage in soil and its depletion by alfalfa in the Loess Plateau of northwestern China. Agricultural Water Management, 138, 10–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kirnak, H. and Demirtas, M.N., 2006. Effects of different irrigation regimes and mulches on yield and macronutrition levels of drip-irrigated cucumber under open field conditions. Journal of Plant Nutrition, 29(9), 1675–1690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lee, J.G., Hwang, H.Y., Park, M.H., Lee, C.H. and Kim, P.J., 2019. Depletion of soil organic carbon stocks are larger under plastic film mulching for maize. European Journal of Soil Science.  https://doi.org/10.1111/ejss.12757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Li, C., Wen, X., Wan, X., Liu, Y., Han, J., Liao, Y. and Wu, W., 2016. Towards the highly effective use of precipitation by ridge-furrow with plastic film mulching instead of relying on irrigation resources in a dry semi-humid area. Field Crops Research, 188, 62–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Li, R., Hou, X., Jia, Z., Han, Q. and Yang, B., 2012. Effects of rainfall harvesting and mulching technologies on soil water, temperature, and maize yield in Loess Plateau region of China. Soil Research, 50(2), 105–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Li, X.Y., 2003. Gravel–sand mulch for soil and water conservation in the semiarid loess region of northwest China. Catena, 52(2), 105–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Liu, M., Lin, S., Dannenmann, M., Tao, Y., Saiz, G., Zuo, Q., Sippel, S., Wei, J., Cao, J., Cai, X. and Butterbach-Bahl, K., 2013. Do water-saving ground cover rice production systems increase grain yields at regional scales?. Field Crops Research, 150, 19–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McMillen, M., 2013. The effect of mulch type and thickness on the soil surface evaporation rate. Horticulture and Crop Science Department. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo USA.Google Scholar
  21. Mo, F., Wang, J.Y., Zhou, H., Luo, C.L., Zhang, X.F., Li, X.Y., Li, F.M., Xiong, L.B., Kavagi, L., Nguluu, S.N. and Xiong, Y.C., 2017. Ridge-furrow plastic-mulching with balanced fertilization in rainfed maize (Zea mays L.): An adaptive management in east African Plateau. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 236, 100–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Montenegro, A.A.A., Abrantes, J.R.C.B., de Lima, J.L.M.P., Singh, V.P., Santos, T.E.M., 2013. Impact of mulching on soil and water dynamics under intermittent simulated rainfall. Catena, 109, 139–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mukherjee, A., Kundu, M. and Sarkar, S., 2010. Role of irrigation and mulch on yield, evapotranspiration rate and water use pattern of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.). Agricultural Water Management, 98(1), 182–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mulumba, L.N. and Lal, R., 2008. Mulching effects on selected soil physical properties. Soil and Tillage Research, 98(1), 106–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Oldeman, L.R., Hakkeling, R.T.A. and Sombroek, W.G., 2017. World map of the status of human-induced soil degradation: an explanatory note. International Soil Reference and Information Centre. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).Google Scholar
  26. Pinamonti, F., 1998. Compost mulch effects on soil fertility, nutritional status and performance of grapevine. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 51(3), 239–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Prosdocimi, M., Jordán, A., Tarolli, P., Keesstra, S., Novara, A. and Cerdà, A., 2016. The immediate effectiveness of barley straw mulch in reducing soil erodibility and surface runoff generation in Mediterranean vineyards. Science of the Total Environment, 547, 323–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Smith, P., House, J.I., Bustamante, M., Sobocká, J., Harper, R., Pan, G., West, P.C., Clark, J.M., Adhya, T., Rumpel, C. and Paustian, K., 2016. Global change pressures on soils from land use and management. Global Change Biology, 22(3), 1008–1028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Suying, C., Xiying, Z., Dong, P. and Hongyong, S., 2005. Effects of corn straw mulching on soil temperature and soil evaporation of winter wheat field. Transactions of The Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering, 10, 038.Google Scholar
  30. Tejedor, M., Jiménez, C. and Dıaz, F., 2003. Volcanic materials as mulches for water conservation. Geoderma, 117(3–4), 283–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wang, F.X., Feng, S.Y., Hou, X.Y., Kang, S.Z. and Han, J.J., 2009. Potato growth with and without plastic mulch in two typical regions of Northern China. Field Crops Research, 110(2), 123–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zhang, Y.L., Wang, F.X., Shock, C.C., Yang, K.J., Kang, S.Z., Qin, J.T. and Li, S.E., 2017. Influence of different plastic film mulches and wetted soil percentages on potato grown under drip irrigation. Agricultural Water Management, 180, 160–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zheng W, Wen M, Zhao Z, Liu J, Wang Z, Zhai B, et al., (2017) Black plastic mulch combined with summer cover crop increases the yield and water use efficiency of apple tree on the rainfed Loess Plateau. PLoS ONE, 12(9), e0185705.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185705.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khawar Jabran
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Production and Technologies, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and TechnologiesNiğde Ömer Halisdemir UniversityNiğdeTurkey

Personalised recommendations