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    Soil microbial response, water and nitrogen use by tomato under different irrigation regimes

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    Abstract
    The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of full irrigation (FI), deficit irrigation (DI) and partial root-zone drying (PRD) on plant biomass, irrigation water productivity (IWP), nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of tomato, and soil microbial C/N ratio. The plants were grown in pots with roots split equally between two soil compartments in a climate-controlled glasshouse. During early fruiting stage, plants were exposed to FI, DI, and PRD treatments. In FI, both soil compartments were irrigated daily to a volumetric soil water content of 18%; in PRD, only one soil compartment was irrigated to 18% while the other was allowed to dry to ca. 7–8%, then the irrigation was shifted; in DI, the same amount of water used for the PRD plants was equally split to the two soil compartments. The results showed that, the FI treatment produced significantly higher dry biomasses of leaves, stems, and fresh weight of fruit and water productivity of aboveground dry biomass production than either DI or PRD, however, fruit IWP in DI was 25% higher than that of FI, and harvest index in DI and PRD were 50% and 22% higher than FI, respectively, for the 26% and 23% less water used in the DI and PRD, respectively, than the FI treatment. The DI treatment caused the smallest losses of N and highest N use efficiency by fruit. Both DI and PRD caused a significant increase in the soil microbial C/N ratio, meaning ratio of fungal biomass was high at low soil water contents. The result indicates that more work is needed to link the aboveground N uptake and the underground microbially mediated N transformation under different water-saving irrigation regimes.
    Article Outline
    1. Introduction
    2. Materials and methods
    2.1. Soil
    2.2. Experimental design
    2.3. Irrigation and fertilization treatments
    2.4. Sampling and measurement
    2.5. Calculations, data analysis and statistics
    3. Results
    3.1. Water use and plant biomass distribution
    3.2. Plant nitrogen uptake
    3.3. Soil mineral nitrogen
    3.4. Soil microbial biomass N
    4. Discussion
    5. Conclusions
    Acknowledgements
    References
     

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    作者:Li, Xiaoliang, Liu, Fulai, Li, Guitong, Lin, Qimei, Jensen, Christian R. 来源:Elsevier 发布时间:2011年07月13日