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Effects of waterlogging and drought on winter wheat and winter barley grown on a clay and a sandy loam soil: I. Crop growth and yield

R. Q. CANNELL, R. K. BELFORD, K. GALES, R. J. THOMSON and C. P. WEBSTER
Plant and Soil
Vol. 80, No. 1 (1984), pp. 53-66
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42934662
Page Count: 14
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Effects of waterlogging and drought on winter wheat and winter barley grown on a clay and a sandy loam soil: I. Crop growth and yield
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Abstract

The effects of winter waterlogging and a subsequent drought on the growth of winter barley and winter wheat have been examined. We used lysimeters containing soil monoliths with facilities to control the water table and a mobile shelter to control rainfall. Winter wheat was grown on a clay and on a sandy loam, but winter barley only on the clay soil. Lysimeters were either freely-drained during the winter or waterlogged with the water table 10 cm below the soil surface from 2 December until 31 March (that could occur by rainfall with a return period of 2 to 3 years). The lysimeters then were either irrigated so that the soil moisture deficit did not exceed 84 mm, or subjected to drought by limiting rainfall (equivalent to a 1 in 10 dry year in the driest area of England) so that the deficits reached maximum values of 150 mm in the clay and 159 mm in the sandy loam by harvest. Winter waterlogging restricted tillering and restricted the number of ears for all crops; grain yield of the winter barley was decreased by 219 g/m² (30%), and that of winter wheat by 170 g/m² (24%) and 153 g/m² (21%) on the clay and sandy loam respectively. The drought treatment reduced the straw weight of winter barley by 75 g/m² (12%) but did not significantly depress the grain yield. For winter wheat on the clay, where the soil was freely-drained during the winter, drought depressed total shoot weight by 344 g/m² (17%) and grain weight by 137 g/m² (17%), but after winter waterlogging, drought did not further depress total or grain weight. In contrast, the winter wheat on the sandy loam was not significantly affected by drought. From these results, which are discussed in relation to other experiments in the United Kingdom, it seems that winter waterlogging is likely to cause more variation in the yield of winter barley and winter wheat than drought.

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