Cereal Research Communications

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 575–584 | Cite as

Effects of different cultivation practices on soil temperature and wheat spike differentiation

  • Y. M. Wang
  • S. Y. Chen
  • H. Y. Sun
  • X. Y. ZhangEmail author
Open Access


Field cultivation practices affected soil temperature that influenced the crop development of winter crops. This study was undertaken to determine the effects of different mulch materials, tillage depths and planting methods on spike differentiation of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The field experiment was consisted of three tests: (i) polythene mulch, straw mulch and no mulch; (ii) ridge planting and furrow planting; (iii) conventional tillage and shallow tillage. The results showed that soil temperature was affected by different practices. The higher soil temperature under polythene mulch resulted in the earlier initiation of spike differentiation, while straw mulch decreased soil temperature in spring that delayed the initiation compared with the non-mulch treatment. The spike initiation under ridge planting started earlier than that of furrow planting. Reduced tillage delayed the initiation compared with the conventional tillage. Duration of spike differentiation lasted longer under earlier starting of initiation that increased the grain numbers per spike. Other yield component characters were not affected by soil temperature. It was concluded that in the North China Plain where grain-filling duration of winter wheat was limited, agricultural practices that increased soil temperature in spring were favorable for grain production.


mulch materials planting methods tillage depths soil temperature spike differentiation 


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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2009

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. M. Wang
    • 1
  • S. Y. Chen
    • 1
  • H. Y. Sun
    • 1
  • X. Y. Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Agricultural Water Resources, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetic and Developmental BiologyThe Chinese Academy of SciencesShijiazhuangChina

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