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Frontiers of Agriculture in China

ISSN 1673-7334

ISSN 1673-744X(Online)

CN 11-5729/S

Front Agric Chin    2009, Vol. 3 Issue (3) : 284-290     DOI: 10.1007/s11703-009-0061-7
Ecological effect analysis of pumpkin and oil sunflower intercropping in arid area of northwest Hebei Province: I. moisture analysis
Junhua ZHANG1,2,3, Wei HUANG2,3, Fenglu ZHANG1(), Lifeng ZHANG1
1. College of Agronomy, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding 071001, China; 2. Department of Horticulture, Hebei North University, Zhangjiakou 075000, China; 3. Zhangbei Agricultural Resource and Ecological Environment Key Field Research Station, Ministry of Agriculture of China, Zhangjiakou 075000, China
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Experiments were conducted during 2007-2008 at the Zhangbei Agricultural Resource and Ecological Environment Key Field Research Station, Hebei Province, China to study water-efficient pumpkin planting patterns in this area. Four treatments of pumpkin and oil sunflower intercropping were used to study the problem of water resource scarcity and inefficient water use in the plateau of northern Hebei Province. The four treatments were: pumpkin sole cropping (Sp), oil-sunflower sole cropping (So), intercropping one row oil sunflower (IC1) or two rows (IC2) between pumpkin rows. The results showed that oil sunflower competed for soil water with pumpkin during late growth stage of pumpkin in IC2, but there was no water competition in IC1. Total rainfall during the growing season was 201.6 mm and the soil water balance differed between treatments. In all cases the water percolation was low and soil moisture storage always negative. Nearly all water loss was through evapotranspiration, which varied by treatment. The seasonal evapotranspiration of IC1 was less than SO, Sp and IC2, 46.57%, 41.22% and 46.73%, respectively. Economic yield of pumpkin decreased from 30.00% (IC1) to 71.42% (IC2). However, yield per plant of intercropping oil sunflower increased from 190.71% to 241.26%, as compared with So, because oil sunflower showed remarkably partial advantage. The Land Equivalent Ratio (LER) of pumpkin-oil sunflower was 1.08-1.22, and the Water Equivalent Ratio (WER) of pumpkin-oil sunflower was 1.07-1.26. Economic value of sole pumpkin was greatest but did not differ from treatment IC1. Other treatments had significantly less economic value. In this region of rain-fed dry land farming, a sparse planting of sole pumpkin with high efficiency production could realize water resources most effectively in the Plateau of northern Hebei Province.

Keywords pumpkin      oil sunflower      intercropping      soil moisture      water use     
Corresponding Authors: ZHANG Fenglu,   
Issue Date: 05 September 2009
URL:     OR
depth of soil/cmbulk density/(g·cm-3)total porosity/%field capacity/%wilting moisture/%soil available water/mm
Tab.1  Physical characteristics of the tested soil
treatmentspacing of oil sunflower/cmspacing of pumpkin/cm
oil sunflower sole cropping (So)50 × 25
pumpkin intercropping with one row oil sunflower (IC1)200 × 25200 × 45
pumpkin intercropping with two rows oil sunflower (IC2)150 × 2550 × 25200 × 45
pumpkin sole cropping (Sp)200 × 45
Tab.2  Planting patterns of treatments
Fig.1  Soil water content of 0-40 cm at different sites of pumpkin strip in different treatments
Note: (a) represents planting row of pumpkin (P), (b) represents 50 cm from planting row of pumpkin (P), (c) represents 100 cm from planting row of pumpkin (P), which is the same as below.
Fig.2  Soil water content of 40-80 cm at different sites of pumpkin strip in different treatments
treatmentseedling stage(Jun. 3-Jun. 23)vine-extending and flowering stage(Jun. 23-Jul. 23)fruits growing stage(Jul. 23-Aug. 22)
0 cm50 cm100 cm0 cm50 cm100 cm0 cm50 cm100 cm
Tab.3  Soil water content of pumpkin at different sites during different periods (mm)
Fig.3  Soil water content of different soil layers over time by treatments Sp, IC, and IC
stagerainfall/mmtreatmentpayout/mmpercolation coefficient/%(variation of soil water storage/rainfall)/%(evaporation/rainfall)/%
water percolationvariation of soil water storageevaporation
seedling stage41.2So0.01625.2615.920.0461.3138.64
vine-extending and flowering stage98.1So0.08–25.63123.670.0826.12126.04
fruits growing stage 62.3So0.043–27.7690.020.0744.56144.49
Tab.4  Comparison of water balance in different treatments
itemSP pumpkinIC1IC2SO oil sunflower
pumpkinoil sunflowerpumpkinoil sunflower
dry biomass yield/(kg·hm-2)3922.22aA2986.66bB4744.7cC1387.57cB7520.0bB10320.0aA
economic yield/(kg·hm-2)10277.78aA7194.44bA1530.0cC2937.50cB2606.7bB3586.7aA
per plant economic yield/(g·plant-1)920aA740bA108.15aA450cC85.50bA44.83cB
economic value /(yuan·hm-2)20555.6aA20508.9aA16301.8bB14346.8cB
water consumption/mm223.60a219.42a228.96a229.59a
WUE of economics /(yuan·mm-1·hm-2)91.9393.4771.2062.49
LER of biomass1.
WER of biomass1.
Tab.5  Yield and water use efficiency of different treatments
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