Effects of supplemental irrigation on water consumption characteristics and grain yield in different wheat cultivars

Weiwei Meng1,2, Zhenwen Yu1, Yongli Zhang1*, Yu Shi1, and Dong Wang1
Shortage of water resources is a major limiting factor for wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production in the North China Plain. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of supplemental irrigation (SI) on water use characteristics and grain yield of the wheat cultivars ‘Jimai 22’and ‘Zhouyuan 9369’. Two supplemental irrigation treatment regimens were designed based on target relative soil moisture contents in 0-140 cm soil layers at jointing rising to 75% of field capacity (FC) for each cultivar, and at anthesis rising to 65% and 75% (W1), and 70% and 80% (W2) in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, respectively. Rain-fed (W0) treatment was used as control. Under W1, grain yield of ‘Jimai 22’ was 5.22% higher than that of W2, and water use efficiency (WUE) of ‘Zhouyuan 9369’ was 4.0% higher than that under W2. No significant differences in WUE of ‘Jimai 22’ and grain yield of ‘Zhouyuan 9369’ were observed for the two treatment regimens in 2009-2010. Grain yield and WUE in W1 were higher than those of W2 for both cultivars in 2010-2011. W1 enhanced soil water consumption compared to W2, especially in the 100-200 cm soil layers, for both cultivars in 2009-2011. Meanwhile, ‘Jimai 22’ showed higher soil water consumption and ET from anthesis to mature stage, which resulted in increase in grain yield and WUE of ‘Jimai 22’ by 8.15-21.7% and 7.75-11.73% in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, respectively, compared with ‘Zhouyuan 9369’. Thus, our results showed that SI increased the yield and WUE of ‘Jimai 22’ and W1 was the better treatment regimen.
Keywords: Grain yield, supplemental irrigation, Triticum aestivum, water use characteristic, water use efficiency, winter wheat cultivars.
1Shandong Agricultural University, College of Agronomy, Tai’an 271018, China. *Corresponding author (zhangyl@sdau.edu.cn).2Crop Research Institute, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jinan 250100, China.