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Journal of Arid Land  2018, Vol. 10 Issue (2): 292-303    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-018-0098-7
Orginal Article     
Planting density affected biomass and grain yield of maize for seed production in an arid region of Northwest China
Xuelian JIANG1,2, Ling TONG1,*(), Shaozhong KANG1, Fusheng LI3, Donghao LI1, Yonghui QIN1, Rongchao SHI1, Jianbing LI4
1 Center for Agricultural Water Research in China, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China
2 Key Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Universities of Shandong, Weifang University, Weifang 261061,China
3 College of Agriculture, Guangxi University, Nanning 530005, China
4 Environmental Science and Engineering Program, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George BC V2N 4Z9, Canada
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Field experiments were conducted from 2012 to 2015 in an arid region of Northwest China to investigate the effects of planting density on plant growth, yield, and water use efficiency (WUE) of maize for seed production. Five planting densities of 6.75, 8.25, 9.75, 11.25and 12.75 plants/m2 were conducted in 2012, and a planting density of 14.25plants/m2 was added from 2013 to 2015.Through comparison with the AquaCrop yield model, a modified model was developed to estimate the biomass accumulation and yield under different planting densities using adjustment coefficient for normalized biomass water productivityand harvest index. It was found that the modified yield model had a better performance and could generate results with higher determination coefficient and lower error. The results indicated that higher planting density increased the leaf area index and biomass accumulation, but decreased the biomass accumulation per plant. The total yield increased rapidly as planting density increased to 11.25 plants/m2, but only a slight increase was observed when the density was greater than 11.25 plants/m2. The WUE also reached the maximum when planting density was 11.25 plants/m2, which was the recommended planting density of maize for seed production in Northwest China.

Key wordsplanting density      yield model      biomass accumulation      grain yield      water use efficiency      Northwest China     
Received: 22 May 2017      Published: 10 April 2018
Corresponding Authors: Ling TONG     E-mail:
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The first and fourth authors contributed equally to this work.

Cite this article:

Xuelian JIANG, Ling TONG, Shaozhong KANG, Fusheng LI, Donghao LI, Yonghui QIN, Rongchao SHI, Jianbing LI. Planting density affected biomass and grain yield of maize for seed production in an arid region of Northwest China. Journal of Arid Land, 2018, 10(2): 292-303.

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