Effects of soil water deficit at different growth stages on rice growth and yield under upland conditions. 2. Phenology, biomass production and yield
ABSTRACT Phenological development, shoot dry matter production, grain yield and yield components of rice were examined in relation to drought occurring at various stages of growth. Rice was sown three or four times at three-week intervals in the field in each of two years, and performance in three stress trials was compared with that in corresponding irrigation trials, with the aim of quantifying the response of the crop to water stress of 23–34 days' duration developing at different growth stages. When drought occurred during vegetative stages, it had only a small effect on subsequent development and grain yield. The reduction in yield of up to 30% was due to reduced panicle number per unit area in one trial, and reduced number of spikelets per panicle in another. The effect of water stress on yield was most severe when drought occurred during panicle development. Anthesis was delayed, the number of spikelets per panicle was reduced to 60% of the irrigated control and the percentage of filled grains decreased in one crop to zero. This decrease in grain yield to less than 20% of the control was associated with low dry matter production during the drought period as well as during the recovery period following the drought. When drought occurred during grain filling, the percentage of filled grains decreased to 40% and individual grain mass decreased by 20%. The effect of stress was also related to its severity during grain filling. Stress at this stage hastened maturity. The results suggest that variation in yield components due to water availability is related to the variation in dry matter production at particular growth stages. Results of a supplementary shading experiment show that the relationship between spikelet number per panicle or single grain mass and crop growth rate was the same, whether growth rate was varied by availability of soil water or solar radiation. Filled-grain percentage, however, was more sensitive to drought stress than shading when comparison was made at a similar crop growth rate.
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ABSTRACT: Increasing water shortage and low water productivity in the irrigated drylands of Central Asia are compelling farmers to adopt resource conservation technologies, such as dry seeded, non-flooded rice. Alternate wet and dry (AWD) water management combined with alternative establishment methods, e.g., zero tillage planting in bed and flat layouts, and residue retention, may substantially reduce rice irrigation water requirement. Field experiments were conducted in a rice–wheat cropping system to evaluate these technologies and to identify the underlying processes responsible for possible reductions in rice yield. Zero till dry seeded rice (DSR) on the flat (DSRF) and on raised beds (DSRB), combined with three levels of wheat and rice straw residue retention – none (R0), 50% (R50) and 100% (R100) were therefore evaluated during the 2008 and 2009 growing seasons, using AWD water management. These treatments were compared with water seeded rice (WSR) grown with conventional tillage (dry tillage) on the flat under continuous flood irrigation (WSRF-R0-FI) or alternate wet and dry irrigation (WSRF-R0-AWD). The use of AWD reduced irrigation amount to only 30% of the amount of water applied to continuously flooded rice. However, yield of residue removed AWD treatments was lower than yield of the continuously flooded treatment by 27% in 2008 and by 40% in 2009. The significant reduction in rice yield in all treatments with AWD was caused by reduced growth rate, resulting in lower biomass, leaf area, panicle density, number of florets panicle−1 and floret fertility, with significant differences in the second year. In 2008, this appeared to be due to water deficit stress in the AWD treatments. In 2009, the reduction in growth and yield with AWD was greater, and more so as the level of residue retention increased. Residue retention reduced rice yield by 59% in 2009 with R100 compared to the R0. By far the biggest cause was a reduction in floret fertility. The reduction in fertility with AWD in 2009 appeared to be due to cold damage, whereas the continuously flooded rice appeared to have been protected from cold damage by the floodwater. The weather during the period from panicle initiation (PI) to flowering in 2009 was very cold, with 20 days with minimum temperature less than 15 °C. About 1 in 10 years experience such low temperatures in this region. Therefore, the development of varieties with greater cold and water deficit stress tolerance is needed if non-flooded rice culture and surface residue retention are to be adopted in this region.Field Crops Research 01/2013; 149:115-126. · 2.47 Impact Factor