Measurement and simulation of diurnal variations in water use efficiency and radiation use efficiency in an irrigated wheat-maize field in the North China Plain

Taylor and Francis
Publication Type:
Journal Article
New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science, 2010, 38 (2), pp. 119 - 135
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Quantifying diurnal patterns of water use efficiency (WUE) and radiation use efficiency (RUE) for wheat and maize is important for assessing water use by plants and crop productivity. Water and carbon dioxide fluxes from an irrigated wheat-maize double-crop field from November 2002 to October 2003 were measured using the Eddy Covariance method. Evident differences were observed between the diurnal patterns of WUE for wheat and maize. The WUE values of wheat peaked near 9, 15 and 12 mg CO2 g H2O in the morning, and then decreased linearly with time and recovered in the late afternoon (4:00pm) before sunset in March, April and May, respectively. The WUE of maize increased after sunrise and retained stable values of 6, 14 and 12 mg CO2 g H2O from mid-morning to mid-afternoon (10:00am 2:00pm) and then decreased slowly with time until sunset in July, August and September, respectively. Similar patterns were observed in the RUE of wheat and maize. Over the three months of the study, averaged RUE was 1.76 g C MJ-1 for the wheat crop and 1.87 g C MJ-1 for the maize crop. A coupled photosynthesis and transpiration model was used to simulate the diurnal variations in WUE under variable climate conditions. Measurement results and sensitivity analysis show that the difference in the diurnal variation pattern in WUE between wheat and maize resulted from the different carbon fixing mechanisms of wheat and maize.
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