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Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology ›› 2023, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (6): 1572-1582.doi: 10.13287/j.1001-9332.202306.016

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Effects of sowing patterns on nitrogen utilization and yield formation of winter wheat in the western Huang-Huai-Hai region

YANG Yixuan, CHEN Yingzhi, TANG Peng, LIN Wen, SUN Min, GAO Zhiqiang*   

  1. College of Agriculture, Shanxi Agricultural University, Jinzhong 030801, Shanxi, China
  • Received:2022-12-09 Accepted:2023-04-26 Online:2023-06-15 Published:2023-12-15

Abstract: To examine the differences of three improved sowing methods in winter wheat yield and nitrogen efficiency and reveal the characteristics responsible for such differences, we conducted field experiments in the Jinnan area of the western Huang-Huai-Hai wheat region for three consecutive seasons from 2016 to 2019. The three improved sowing methods were wide space sowing (WSS), furrow sowing in moisture soil (FS), and three-dimensional uniform sowing (TDUS), with conventional drilling sowing (CDS) as the control. The results showed that meteorological factors such as accumulated temperature, solar radiation, and precipitation in the growing seasons from 2016 to 2019 showed great intra- and inter-annual variations. Compared with CDS, the improved sowing methods (WSS, FS, and TDUS) enhanced spike number per unit area and increased grain yield in three growing seasons by 18.3%-55.5%, 8.6%-22.2%, and 10.9%-39.5%, respectively. The three methods increased nitrogen uptake efficiency (NEup) by 5.8%-57.1%, pre-flowering nitrogen transfer ratio (Np/Nt) by 3.0%-15.3%, and nitrogen efficiency by 7.9%-35.7%, respectively. We developed a structural equation model (SEM) by integrating meteorological factors and experimental variables. The results showed that the three improved sowing methods could reduce the effects of extreme low temperature on wheat plant population, increase NEup and Np/Nt, and provide sufficient nitrogen supply to the grains of high-spike number wheat population for high yield and high nitrogen efficiency. In summary, our results demonstrated that WSS, FS, and TDUS all improved NEup and Np/Nt in the 2016-2017 season when meteorological conditions were favorable for wheat growth, and enhanced yield components with high SN, leading to high yield and high nitrogen efficiency. In contrast, in both 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons with extremely low temperature and uneven distribution of meteorological conditions, WSS had a higher number of tillers at the jointing stage and enhanced pre-flowering nitrogen uptake and translocation, whereas TDUS had a relatively stable nitrogen uptake rate, leading to a stable grain yield.

Key words: sowing pattern, winter wheat, grain yield, nitrogen uptake and utilization, nitrogen use efficiency