Water use and yield responses of cotton to alternate partial root-zone drip irrigation in the arid area of north-west China

Taisheng Du, Shaozhong Kang*, Jianhua ZHANG, Fusheng Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A field experiment was carried out over 2 years to investigate the effect of partial root-zone irrigation applied using drip irrigation on the water use and yield of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) in oasis fields of arid north-west China. Two irrigation treatments, i.e., conventional drip irrigation (CDI, both sides of plant row watered) or alternate drip irrigation (ADI, both sides of plant row alternatively watered) were applied under plastic mulch. Three irrigation levels (i.e., 15, 22.5, 30 mm during 2004 and 12, 18, 24 mm during 2005) were applied at each irrigation. Monitoring of soil water contents in the ADI treatment indicated a change in root-zone uptake in response to the irrigation method, although there existed some lateral soil water movement from the wetted side to the dry side after each watering. Stomatal conductance in ADI was lower than that of CDI when compared at the same irrigation level. Reduced stomatal conductance and water loss resulted in higher water use efficiency (WUE) in the ADI treatment. About 31-33% less total irrigation water was applied using the ADI method when compared to that of the CDI treatment with a similar seed cotton yield. ADI also yielded 11% more pre-frost seed cotton than CDI in 2005, indicating a better lint quality and higher price. These results suggest that ADI should be a useful water-saving irrigation method in arid oasis fields where cotton production is heavily dependent on irrigation and water resources are scarce.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-159
Number of pages13
JournalIrrigation Science
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science

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