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Universität Hohenheim (2014)

Effects of Water Management on Microclimate and Yield Physiology in Irrigated Rice in Semi-arid Environments

Stürz, Sabine

Titre : Effects of Water Management on Microclimate and Yield Physiology in Irrigated Rice in Semi-arid Environments

Auteur : Stürz, Sabine

Université de soutenance : Universität Hohenheim

Grade : Doktor der Agrarwissenschaften (Dr. sc. agr. / Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences) 2014

Résumé
Growth and grain yield reductions have been widely observed when traditionally flooded rice fields were subjected to water-saving irrigation measures, where a continuous floodwater layer is avoided. These observations led to the perception of rice being a plant extremely sensitive to soil water deficits even when grown in soils close to their water holding capacity. Since the rice plant’s meristem is below the water surface until the early reproductive stage in flooded fields, the difference in heat capacity between water and air can lead to changes in meristem temperature, when a ponded water layer is omitted. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to quantify the effects of water-saving irrigation on the field’s microclimate and its influence on gas-exchange parameters and to investigate growth and yield parameters under flooded and non-flooded conditions in response to microclimate and varying climatic conditions. On two sites in Senegal, field experiments were conducted, where rice was sown on bi-monthly staggered dates and grown under flooded and non-flooded conditions. In the flooded treatment, a ponded water layer was maintained in the field throughout the growing season, whereas in the non-flooded treatment, irrigation water was applied until soil saturation on a frequent basis, in order to avoid standing water and soil water deficits at the same time. Microclimatic parameters and phenology were observed and leaf gas-exchange and plant growth parameters, yield and yield components were determined. Minimum soil temperature and temperature at meristem level were usually lower without standing water, whereupon temperature differences between irrigation treatments increased with decreasing air temperature. Stomatal conductance depended mainly on minimum soil and meristem temperature and minimum relative humidity inside the canopy. Assimilation rate was positively correlated with solar radiation and soil and meristem temperature, but depended mainly on stomatal conductance. Without standing water, stomatal conductance and assimilation rate were significantly lower, but the results could be explained with differences in microclimate. In most cases, leaf area was reduced under non-flooded conditions. Leaf area expansion rate was correlated with meristem temperature during the night. With minimum meristem temperature being lower under non-flooded conditions, lower leaf area expansion rates under non-flooded conditions could be attributed to lower meristem temperature. Yield reductions under non-flooded conditions were mainly observed in the cold-dry-season, whereas slight yield increases were found in the hot-wet-season. Among the yield components, reduced number of spikelets per panicle and decreased spikelet fertility accounted for the largest share of the yield gap. Leaf area per tiller was positively correlated with meristem temperature in the observed temperature range, and a positive relationship was found between leaf area per tiller and the number of spikelets per panicle. Furthermore, spikelet fertility increased with meristem temperature between panicle initiation and booting stage. Therefore, lower meristem temperature led to smaller leaf area per tiller, less spikelets per panicle and decreased spikelet fertility under non-flooded conditions. We concluded that water-saving irrigation in lowland rice production can lead to growth and yield reductions in comparison to traditional lowland irrigation even in the absence of soil water deficits, due to changes in soil and meristem temperature when a ponded water layer is omitted. Differences in assimilation rate, leaf growth and yield between irrigation treatments increased with decreasing air temperature and a clear seasonal pattern was observed, with large growth and yield reductions in the cold-dry-season, whereas in the hot-wet-season, growth and yield were less affected by irrigation treatment. When water-saving irrigation measures are applied in areas where night temperatures below 20°C occur, the effect of changes in meristem temperature should be considered. To mitigate impairment of growth under water-saving irrigation, a floodwater layer could be used to bridge cool periods, or a less temperature-responsive variety should be chosen. Nevertheless, the physiological mechanisms of the differential effects of day and night temperature remain unknown und need further investigation. Possibly, there is a combined effect of low night temperature and high evaporative demand during the day, which could lead to growth limitations due to restrictions of the plant’s water status. Furthermore, we want to highlight the need for a robust model of water temperature in paddy fields, which should be incorporated in rice growth models, since even tough existing models simulate growth and grain yield under upland and lowland conditions, the effects of changes in microclimate due to irrigation method are inadequately considered so far.

Mots Clés : Oryza sativa , growth , Sahel , meristem temperature, water-saving rice ; Reis , Wachstum , Senegal , Bewässerung , Temperatur , Sahel , Gasaustausch

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Page publiée le 31 août 2014, mise à jour le 29 décembre 2018