Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2016, Vol. 8 ›› Issue (4): 334-342.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00334

• ARTICLES • Previous Articles    

Impact of soil conditions on the physiological characteristics of maize plants in an arid region, Northwest China

LiWen Zhao1,2, ZhiBin He1,2, WenZhi Zhao1,2   

  1. 1. Linze Inland River Basin Research Station, Chinese Ecosystem Network Research, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Ecohydrology of Inland River Basin, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Re-search Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
  • Received:2016-04-10 Revised:2016-06-21 Published:2018-11-23
  • Contact: LiWen Zhao, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences. No. 320, West Donggang Road, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China. Tel:+86 13919797860;
  • Supported by:
    This work was supported by the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant No. 2015M572622) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41501044). The authors greatly appreciate the help from Prof. YongZhong Su, Dr. XiBin Ji and Dr. BoWen Jin in carrying out the experiments.

Abstract: Overuse of irrigation water to ensure the crop yield of maize plants has caused serious water shortage problems in the middle reach of Heihe River, China. Thus, further research on the physiological characteristics, i.e., photosynthetic rate and leaf transpiration rate, are urgently needed to develop an efficient irrigation management system. In this paper, we selected two common soil textures (sandy loam, sand) and three one-time irrigation volumes (60 mm, 20 mm, 0 mm) in order to analyze the impact of soil conditions on the physiological characteristics of maize plants. Physiological and meteorological factors, soil water content and plant growing parameters were synchronously monitored on Jun. 30, Jul. 25 and Aug. 27 of 2012. The results indicate that sandy loam is better than sand for the growth of maize plants and single irrigation may provide limited influence on the physiological characteristics. Thus, increasing irrigation times and decreasing one-time volume is suggested for an efficient irrigation system.

Key words: photosynthesis, leaf transpiration, water use efficiency, maize plant, soil water content

Bu LD, Chen XP, Li SQ, et al., 2015. The effect of adapting cultivars on the water use efficiency of dryland maize (Zea mays L.) in northwestern China. Agricultural Water Management, 148:1-9. DOI:10.1016/j.agwat.2014.09.010.
Cheng GD, 2002. Study on the sustainable development in Heihe River watershed from the view of ecological economics. Journal of Glaciology Geocryology, 24:335-343. DOI:10.3969/j.issn.1000-0240.2002.04.001. (in Chinese)
Horwitz DA, Zheng SG, Gray JD, 2008. Natural and TGF-β-induced Foxp3+ CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells are not mirror images of each other. Trends in Immunology, 29(9):429-435. DOI:
Huang G, Zhao XY, Cui JY, 2008. Photosynthetic and water use efficiency characteristics of two annuals under drought stress in Korqin Sandy Land. Acta Botanica Boreali-Occidentalia Sinica, 28(11):2306-2313. DOI:10.3321/j.issn:1000-4025.2008.11.026. (in Chinese)
Hui HX, Xu X, Li QR, 2003. Exogenous betaine improves photosynthesis of Lycium barbarum under salt stress. Acta Botanica Boreali-Occidentalia Sinica, 23(12):2137-2142. DOI:10.3321/j.issn:1000-4025.2003.12.015. (in Chinese)
Ji XB, Kang ES, Chen RS, et al., 2005. Estimation of ground water budget at the representative irrigated area in the middle stream of Heihe River. Hydrogeology & Engineering Geology, 32(6):25-29. DOI:10.3969/j.issn.1000-3665. 2005.06.007. (in Chinese)
Ji XB, Kang ES, Chen RS, et al., 2007. A mathematical model for simulating water balances in cropped sandy soil with conventional flood irrigation applied. Agricultural Water Management, 87:337-346. DOI:10.1016/j.agwat.2006.08.011.
Kang ES, 2004. Water resources relating to desertification in the Hexi area of Gansu Province, China. Journal of Glaciology Geocryology, 26:657-667. DOI:10.3969/j.issn.1000-0240. 2004.06.001. (in Chinese)
Katerji N, Van Hoorn JW, Hamdy A, et al., 2003. Salinity effect on crop development and yield, analysis of salt tolerance according to several classification methods. Agricultural Water Management, 62(1):37-66. DOI:10.1016/S0378-3774(03) 00005-2.
Lal R, Shukla MK, 2004. Principles of Soil Physics. Boca Raton, FL, USA:CRC Press.
Liu B, Zhao WZ, Jin BW, 2011. The response of sap flow in desert shrubs to environmental variables in an arid region of China. Ecohydrology, 4:448-457. DOI:10.1002/eco.151.
Liu JL, Bu LD, Zhu L, et al., 2014. Optimizing plant density and plastic film mulch to increase maize productivity and water-use efficiency in semiarid areas. Agronomy Journal, 106(4):1138-1146. DOI:10.2134/agronj13.0582.
Liu QF, Chen Y, Liu Y, et al., 2016. Coupling effects of plastic film mulching and urea types on water use efficiency and grain yield of maize in the Loess Plateau, China. Soil and Tillage Research, 157:1-10. DOI:10.1016/j.still.2015.11.003.
Meng FC, Zhang JH, Hao C, et al., 2015. Effects of elevated CO2 and different irrigation on photosynthetic parameters and yield of maize in Northeast China. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 35(7):2126-2135. DOI:10.5846/stxb201306041336. (in Chinese)
Peng ZY, Wang MC, Li F, et al., 2009. A proteomic study of the response to salinity and drought stress in an introgression strain of bread wheat. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, 8(12):2676-2686. DOI:10.1074/mcp.M900052-MCP200.
Ren JH, 2005. Effects of water resources exploitation on ecoenvironment of Heihe River Basin. Bulletin of Soil and Water Conservation, 25:94-96. DOI:10.3969/j.issn.1000-288X.2005.04.025. (in Chinese)
Tolk JA, Evett SR, Xu WW, et al., 2016. Constraints on water use efficiency of drought tolerant maize grown in a semi-arid environment. Field Crops Research, 186:66-77. DOI:10.1016/j.fcr.2015.11.012.
Tyree MT, Sperry JS, 1988. Do woody plants operate near the point of catastrophic xylem dysfunction caused by dynamic water stress? Answers from a model. Plant Physiology, 88(3):574-580. DOI:
Uehlein N, Otto B, Hanson DT, et al., 2008. Function of Nicotiana tabacum aquaporins as chloroplast gas pores challenges the concept of membrane CO2 permeability. The Plant Cell Online, 20(3):648-657. DOI:
Wang HX, Liu CM, 2000. Advances in crop water use efficiency research. Advances in Water Science, 11(1):99-104. DOI:10.3321/j.issn:1001-6791.2000.01.018. (in Chinese)
Wang QM, Huo ZL, Zhang LD, et al., 2016. Impact of saline water irrigation on water use efficiency and soil salt accumulation for spring maize in arid regions of China. Agricultural Water Management, 163:125-138. DOI:10.1016/j.agwat.2015.09.012.
Wullschleger SD, Wilson KB, Hanson PJ, 2000. Environmental control of whole-plant transpiration, canopy conductance and estimates of the decoupling coefficient for large red maple trees. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 104(2):157-168. DOI:10.1016/S0168-1923(00)00152-0.
Xie TT, Su PX, 2011. Research on leaf photosynthetic characteristics and water use efficiency of sweet sorghum under different land types in arid region. Scientia Agriculatura Sincia, 44(2):271-279. DOI:10.3864/j.issn.0578-1752.2011.02.006. (in Chinese)
Xu SM, Dai JX, Shen XY, et al., 1995. The effect of water stress on maize photosynthetic characters and yield. Acta Agronomica Sinica, 21(3):356-363. DOI:10.3321/j.issn:0496-3490.1995.03.017. (in Chinese)
Yang Y, Chen JX, 2014. Reasons and countermeasures for frequently maize seed planting without certificate. Seed World, 7:1-2. DOI:10.3969/j.issn.1000-8071.2014.07.008. (in Chinese)
Yu WY, Ji RP, Feng R, et al., 2015. Response of water stress on photosynthetic characteristics and water use efficiency of maize leaves indifferent growth stage. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 35(9):2902-2909. DOI:10.5846/stxb201306101632. (in Chinese)
Zhang CZ, Zhang JB, Zhang H, et al., 2015. Mechanisms for the relationships between water-use efficiency and carbon isotope composition and specific leaf area of maize (Zea mays L.) under water stress. Plant Growth Regulation, 77(2):233-243. DOI:10.1007/s10725-015-0056-8.
Zhang Q, Zhang HS, Song XY, et al., 2015. The effects of planting patterns and densities on photosynthetic characteristics and yield in summer maize. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 35(4):1235-1241. DOI:10.5846/stxb201305020885. (in Chinese)
Zhao LW, Zhao WZ, 2014. Water balance and migration for maize in an oasis farmland of northwest China. Chinese Science Bulletin, 59(34):4829-4837. DOI:10.1007/s11434-014-0482-4.
Zhao LW, Zhao WZ, 2015. Canopy transpiration obtained from leaf transpiration, sap flow and FAO-56 dual crop coefficient method. Hydrological Processes, 29(13):2983-2993. DOI:10.1002/hyp.10417.
[1] ShaoYing Wang, Yu Zhang, ShiHua Lyu, LunYu Shang, YouQi Su, HanHui Zhu. Radiation balance and the response of albedo to environmental factors above two alpine ecosystems in the eastern Tibetan Plateau [J]. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, 2017, 9(2): 142-157.
Full text



No Suggested Reading articles found!