Pedosphere 16(4): 495--504, 2006
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2006 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Effect of nitrogen management on yield and water use efficiency of rainfed wheat and maize in northwest China
DANG Ting-Hui1, CAI Gui-Xin2, GUO Sheng-Li1, HAO Ming-De1 and L. K. HENG3
1 Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Northwest Sci-Tech University of Agriculture and Forestry, Yangling 712100 (China). E-mail:
2 Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008 (China)
3 FAO/IAEA Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratory, Seibersdorf (Austria)
      A field experiment with four treatments and four replicates in a randomized complete block design was conducted at the Changwu Experimental Station in Changwu County, Shaanxi Province, of Northwest China from 1998 to 2002.The local cropping sequence of wheat, wheat-beans, maize, and wheat over the 4-year period was adopted. A micro-plot study using 15N-labelled fertilizer was carried out to determine the fate of applied N fertilizer in the first year. When N fertilizer was applied wheat (years 1, 2 and 4) and maize (year 3) grain yield increased significantly (P < 0.05) (> 30%), with no significant yield differences in normal rainfall years (Years 1, 2 and 3) for N application at the commonly application rate and at 2/3 of this rate. Grain yield of wheat varied greatly between years, mainly due to variation in annual rainfall. Results of 15N studies on wheat showed that plants recovered 36.6%-38.4% of the N applied, the N remained in soil (0-40 cm) ranged from 29.2% to 33.6%, and unaccounted-for N was 29.5%-34.2%. The following crop (wheat) recovered 2.1%-2.8% of the residual N from N applied to the previous wheat crop with recovery generally decreasing in the subsequent three crops (beans, maize and wheat).
Key Words:  wheat, maize, 15N studies, water use efficiency, yield
Citation: Dang, T. H., Cai, G. X., Guo, S. L., Hao, M. D. and Heng, L. K. 2006. Effect of nitrogen management on yield and water use efficiency of rainfed wheat and maize in northwest China. Pedosphere. 16(4): 495-504.
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