Journal of Arid Land

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 362–374 | Cite as

Film-mulched continuous ridge-furrow planting improves soil temperature, nutrient content and enzymatic activity in a winter oilseed rape field, Northwest China

  • Xiaobo Gu
  • Yuannong Li
  • Yadan Du


Film mulching system is a widely employed agricultural practice worldwide. However, the effects of different planting and mulching patterns on soil nutrient content and enzymatic activity have not been well documented. In this study, we examined the impact of four planting and mulching patterns (including control, flat planting without mulching; M1, flat planting with film mulching; M2, ridge-furrow planting with film mulching on both ridges and furrows; and M3, ridge-furrow planting with film mulching on continuous ridges) on the seed yield of winter oilseed rape, soil moisture, soil temperature, soil organic carbon (SOC) content, soil nutrient content, and soil enzymatic activity over three growing seasons from 2012 to 2015 in a winter oilseed rape field in the semi-arid area of Northwest China. Seed yield of winter oilseed rape, soil moisture, soil temperature, enzymatic activities, and contents of nitrate-nitrogen, available phosphorus, and available potassium were all significantly higher in mulching treatments (M1, M2 and M3) than in control treatment over the three growing seasons, whereas SOC content was significantly lower in mulching treatments than in control treatment during 2013–2014 and 2014–2015. Among the three mulching treatments (M1, M2 and M3), the M3 treatment showed consistently higher seed yield, SOC content, nutrient contents, and enzymatic activities than the other two treatments. Seed yield of winter oilseed rape was 41.1% and 15.0% higher in M3 than in M1 and M2, respectively. SOC content and soil enzymatic activities in the top 0–20 cm soil layers and nitrate-nitrogen content in the top 0–30 cm soil layers were all significantly higher in M3 than in M1 and M2. Therefore, we advise the ridge-furrow planting with film mulching on continuous ridges (i.e., M3) as an efficient planting and mulching pattern for sustainably improving the seed yield of winter oilseed rape and preserving soil fertility in the semi-arid area of Northwest China.


film mulching soil temperature soil organic carbon soil nutrient content soil enzymatic activity winter oilseed rape Northwest China 


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This research was supported by the Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest, China (201503125, 201503105) and the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (2011AA100504).


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Copyright information

© Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Agricultural Soil and Water Engineering in Arid and Semiarid Areas of Ministry of EducationNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina

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