Yield, grain quality and water use efficiency of rice under non-flooded mulching cultivation

Zichang Zhang, Shenfeng Zhang, Jianchnag Yang*, Jianhua ZHANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)


Plastic film or straw mulching cultivation under non-flooded condition has been considered as a new water-saving technique in rice production. This study aimed to investigate the yield performance in terms of quality and quantity and water use efficiency (WUE) under such practices. A field experiment across 3 years was conducted with two high-yielding rice cultivars, Zhendao 88 (a japonica cultivar) and Shanyou 63 (an indica hybrid cultivar) and four cultivation treatments imposed from transplanting to maturity: traditional flooding as control (TF), non-flooded plastic film mulching (PM), non-flooded wheat straw mulching (SM), and non-flooded no mulching (NM). Compared with those under the TF, root oxidation activity, photosynthetic rate, and activities of key enzymes in sucrose-to-starch conversion in grains during the grain filling period were significantly increased under the SM, whereas they were significantly reduced under the PM and NM treatments. Grain yield showed some reduction under all the non-flooded cultivations but differed largely among the treatments. The reduction in yield was 7.3-17.5% under the PM, 2.8-6.3% under the SM, and 39-49% under the NM. The difference in grain yield was not significant between TF and SM treatments. WUE for irrigation was increased by 314-367% under the PM, 307-321% under the SM, and 98-138% under the NM. Under the same treatment especially under non-flooded conditions, the indica hybrid cultivar showed a higher grain yield and higher WUE than the japonica cultivar. The SM significantly improved milling, appearance, and cooking qualities, whereas the PM or the NM decreased these qualities. We conclude that both PM and SM could significantly increase WUE, while the SM could also maintain a high grain yield and improve quality of rice. The SM would be a better practice than the PM in areas where water is scarce while temperature is favorable to rice growth, such as in Southeast China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalField Crops Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Mulching cultivation
  • Rice (Oryza sativa L.)
  • Rice quality
  • Rice yield
  • Root activity
  • Starch biosynthesis
  • Water use efficiency


Dive into the research topics of 'Yield, grain quality and water use efficiency of rice under non-flooded mulching cultivation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this