Evaluation of the cumulative effect of drip irrigation and fertigation on productivity in a poplar plantation

Article

Abstract

Key message

Combined drip irrigation and fertigation significantly increased stem volume and biomass production in a poplar plantation, and showed a cumulative effect over years. The promoting effects were mainly attributable to increased nitrogen and water availability in the surface soil through the combined management.

Context

Fast-growing and high-yielding poplar plantations have been identified as major commercial forests in China. Intensive management of irrigation and fertilization can greatly increase productivity of plantations. Quantitative investigations on the cumulative effect of drip irrigation and fertigation over years are quite infrequent.

Aims

We aimed to quantitatively evaluate the effects of drip irrigation and fertigation plans on tree growth and productivity in a poplar plantation, and to analyze their possible cumulative promoting effect over multiple years.

Methods

Treatments including nine drip irrigation and fertigation combinations, and single furrow irrigation in spring as control, were conducted in a poplar plantation for three successive years. The combined treatments consist of three irrigation levels (WP−75, WP−50, and WP−25, in ascending order) and three levels of nitrogen addition (N60, N120, and N180, in ascending order). Soil nitrogen and water content were measured throughout the 3 years. Based on tree surveys, tree growth, volume, and biomass production were evaluated each year.

Results

Nitrogen and water availability in the surface soil increased in the drip irrigation- and fertigation-treated plots. Drip irrigation and fertigation treatments resulted in significant higher growth, stem volume, and biomass productions compared to control. Biomass increments in drip irrigation- and fertigation-treated plots were 4.8–50.0, 5.3–26.5, and 4.3–52.2% higher than control in the three experimental years, respectively, with WP−25N180 and WP−50N180 recording the highest increments. Fertigation showed cumulative effects over multiple years and the positive effects increased with the dosage. However, irrigation showed little cumulative effect and the greatest effect was obtained under medium level.

Conclusion

Combined drip irrigation and fertigation greatly promoted the plantation productivity. The combined management effect varied with application plans and plantation ages, and showed a cumulative effect over years.

Keywords

Drip irrigation Fertigation Nitrogen addition Biomass equations Productivity in forest plantations Populus × euramericana “Guariento” 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was jointly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31670625) and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (184521).

Compliance with ethical standards

Data availability

The manuscript has no associated data or data archiving is not mandated.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Allen SJ, Hall RL, Rosier PTW (1999) Transpiration by two poplar varieties grown as coppice for biomass production. Tree Physiol 19:493–501.  https://doi.org/10.1093/treephys/19.8.493 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Alsafar MS, Al-hassan YM (2009) Effect of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers on growth and oil yield of indigenous mint (Mentha longifolia L.) Biotechnol 8:380–384.  https://doi.org/10.3923/biotech.2009.380.384 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ceulemans R, Deraedt W (1999) Production physiology and growth potential of poplars under short-rotation forestry culture. For Ecolo Manag 121:9–23.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1127(98)00564-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Coleman MD, Friend AL, Kern CC (2004) Carbon allocation and nitrogen acquisition in a developing Populus deltoides plantation. Tree Physiol 24:1347–1357.  https://doi.org/10.1093/treephys/24.12.1347 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Coyle DR, Coleman MD (2005) Forest production responses to irrigation and fertilization are not explained by shifts in allocation. For Ecolo Manag 208:137–152.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2004.11.022 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dai XQ, Sui P, Xie GH, Steinberger Y (2006) Water use and nitrate nitrogen changes in intensive farmlands following introduction of poplar (Populus × euramericana) in a semi-arid region. Arid Land Res Manag 20:281–294.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15324980600904734 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dickmann DI (2006) Silviculture and biology of short-rotation woody crops in temperate regions: then and now. Biomass Bioenergy 30:696–705.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2005.02.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dickmann DI, Nguyen PV, Pregitzer KS (1996) Effects of irrigation and coppicing on above-ground growth, physiology, and fine-root dynamics of two field-grown hybrid poplar clones. For Ecolo Manag 80:163–174.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-1127(95)03611-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dong WY, Qin J, Li JY, Zhao Y, Nie LS, Zhang ZY (2011) Interactions between soil water content and fertilizer on growth characteristics and biomass yield of Chinese white poplar (Populus tomentosa Carr.) seedlings. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 57:303–312.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00380768.2010.549445 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Granlund K, Räike A, Ekholm P, Rankinen K, Rekolainen S (2005) Assessment of water protection targets for agricultural nutrient loading in Finland. J Hydrol 304:251–260.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2004.07.033 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Guan H, Li J, Li Y (2013) Effects of drip system uniformity and irrigation amount on cotton yield and quality under arid conditions. Agr Water Manage 124:37–51.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2013.03.020 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hansen EA (1988) Irrigating short rotation intensive culture hybrid poplars. Biomass 16:237–250.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0144-4565(88)90029-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ibrahim L, Proe MF, Cameron AD (1998) Interactive effects of nitrogen and water availabilities on gas exchange and whole-plant carbon allocation in poplar. Tree Physiol 18:481–487.  https://doi.org/10.1093/treephys/18.7.481 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Iivonen S, Kaakinen S, Jolkkonen A, Vapaavuori E, Linder S (2006) Influence of long-term nutrient optimization on biomass, carbon, and nitrogen acquisition and allocation in Norway spruce. Can J For Res 36(6):1563–1571.  https://doi.org/10.1139/x06-035 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kong Q, Li G, Wang Y, Huo H (2011) Bell pepper response to surface and subsurface drip irrigation under different fertigation levels. Irrigation Sci 30:233–245.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-011-0278-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kowalenko CG, Bittman S (2000) Within-season grass yield and nitrogen uptake, and soil nitrogen as affected by nitrogen applied at various rates and distributions in a high rainfall envrironment. Can J Plant Sci 80:287–301.  https://doi.org/10.4141/P98-139 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lee KH, Jose S (2003) Soil respiration, fine root production, and microbial biomass in cottonwood and loblolly pine plantations along a nitrogen fertilization gradient. For Ecolo Manag 185:263–273.  https://doi.org/10.1016/s0378-1227(03)00164-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Li J, Liu Y (2010) Water and nitrate distributions as affected by layered-textural soil and buried dripline depth under subsurface drip fertigation. Irrigation Sci 29:469–478.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-010-0255-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lynch DW, Schumacher FX (1941) Concerning the dispersion of natural regeneration. J Forest 39:49–51(43)Google Scholar
  20. Morgan JA (1984) Interaction of water supply and N in wheat. Plant Physiol 76:112–117.  https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.76.1.112 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. O’Neill MK, Allen SC, Heyduck RF, Lombard KA, Dan S, Arnold RN (2014) Hybrid poplar (Populus spp.) adaptation to a semi-arid region: results from Northwest New Mexico (2002–2011). Agrofor Syst 88:387–396.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-014-9694-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Perry CH, Miller RC, Brooks KN (2001) Impacts of short-rotation hybrid poplar plantations on regional water yield. For Ecolo Manag 143:143–151.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1127(00)00513-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rajput TBS, Patel N (2006) Water and nitrate movement in drip-irrigated onion under fertigation and irrigation treatments. Agr Water Manage 79:293–311.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2005.03.009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ramniwas KRA, Pareek S, Sarolia DK, Singh V (2013) Effect of drip fertigation scheduling on fertilizer use efficiency, leaf nutrient status, yield and quality of ‘shweta’ guava (Psidium guajava L.) under meadow orcharding. Natl Acad Sci Lett 36:483–488.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40009-013-0162-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rennenberg H, Wildhagen H, Ehlting B (2010) Nitrogen nutrition of poplar trees. Plant Biol 12:275–291.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1438-8677.2009.00309.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Shirazi SM, Yusop Z, Zardari NH, Ismail Z (2014) Effect of irrigation regimes and nitrogen levels on the growth and yield of wheat. Adv Agr 2014:250874.  https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/250874 Google Scholar
  27. Stanturf JA, Oosten CV, Netzer DA, Coleman MD, Portwood CJ (2001) Ecology and silviculture of poplar plantations. In: Dickmann DI, Isebrands JG, Eckenwalder JE, Richardson J (eds) Poplar culture in North America. NRC Research Press, pp 153–206Google Scholar
  28. Sylvester-Bradley R, Kindred DR, Wynn SC, Thorman RE, Smith KE (2012) Efficiencies of nitrogen fertilizers for winter cereal production, with implications for greenhouse gas intensities of grain. J Agr Sci 152:3–22.  https://doi.org/10.1017/s0021859612000810 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tarkalson DD, Donk SJV, Petersen JL (2009) Effect of nitrogen application timing on corn production using subsurface drip irrigation. Soil Sci 174:174–179.  https://doi.org/10.1097/SSL.0b013e3181998514 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wang Y, Xi BY, Bloomberg M, Moltchanova E, Li GD, Jia LM (2015) Response of diameter growth, biomass allocation and N uptake to N fertigation in a triploid Populus tomentosa plantation in the North China Plain: ontogenetic shift does not exclude plasticity. Eur J Forest Res 134:889–898.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10342-015-0897-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wudneh A, Erkossa T, Devi P (2014) Sediment and nutrient lost by runoff from two watersheds, Digga district in Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia. Afr J Environ Sci Technol 8:498–510.  https://doi.org/10.5897/ajest2014.1747 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Xi BY, Li GD, Bloomberg M, Jia LM (2014) The effects of subsurface irrigation at different soil water potential thresholds on the growth and transpiration of Populus tomentosain the North China Plain. Aust Forestry 77:159–167.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00049158.2014.920552 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Xi BY, Wang Y, Jia LM, Bloomberg M, Li GD, Di N (2013) Characteristics of fine root system and water uptake in a triploid Populus tomentosa plantation in the North China Plain: implications for irrigation water management. Agr Water Manage 117:83–92.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2012.11.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yan XL (2016) Research on coupling effects of water and nitrogen in fast-growing and high-yield poplar plantations. Dissertation, Beijing Forestry University (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  35. Yan XL, Dai TF, Jia LM, Dai LL, Xin FM (2015a) Responses of the fine root morphology and vertical distribution of Populus × euramericana‘Guariento’ to the coupled effect of water and nitrogen. Chin. J Plant Ecol 39:825–837.  https://doi.org/10.17521/cjpe.2015.0079 (in Chinese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Yan XL, Dai TF, Zhao DH, Jia LM (2016) Combined surface drip irrigation and fertigation significantly increase biomass and carbon storage in a Populus × euramericana cv. Guariento plantation. J Forest Res-JPN 21:280–290.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10310-016-0540-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yan XL, Xi BY, Jia LM, Li GD (2015b) Response of sap flow to flooding in plantations of irrigated and non-irrigated triploid poplar. J Forest Res-JPN 20:375–385.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10310-015-0485-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Yang S, Peng S, Xu J, He Y, Wang Y (2015) Effects of water saving irrigation and controlled release nitrogen fertilizer managements on nitrogen losses from paddy fields. Paddy Water Environ 13:71–80.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10333-013-0408-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Yohannes F, Tadesse T (1998) Effect of drip and furrow irrigation and plant spacing on yield of tomato at Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. Agr Water Manage 35:201–207.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-3774(97)00039-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zhu A, Zhang J, Zhao B, Cheng Z, Li L (2005) Water balance and nitrate leaching losses under intensive crop production with Ochric Aquic Cambosols in North China Plain. Environ Int 31:904–912.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2005.05.038 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© INRA and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Forestry Post-Doctoral Station, Forestry CollegeFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouChina
  2. 2.Ministry of Education Key laboratory of Silviculture and ConservationBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations