Alleviating soil sickness caused by aerobic monocropping: responses of aerobic rice to soil oven-heating

Lixiao Nie; Shaobing Peng; Bas Bouman; Jianliang Huang; Kehui Cui; Romeo Visperas; Hong-Kyu Park
November 2007
Plant & Soil;Nov2007, Vol. 300 Issue 1/2, p185
Academic Journal
“Aerobic rice” system is the cultivation of nutrient-responsive cultivars in nonflooded and nonsaturated soil under supplemental irrigation. It is intended for lowland areas with water shortage and for favorable upland areas with access to supplementary irrigation. Yield decline caused by soil sickness has been reported with continuous monocropping of aerobic rice grown under nonflooded conditions. The objective of this study was to determine the growth response of rice plant to oven heating of soil with a monocropping history of aerobic rice. A series of pot experiments was conducted with soils from fields where rice has been grown continuously under aerobic or anaerobic (flooded) conditions. Soil was oven heated at different temperatures and for various durations. Plants of Apo, an upland variety that does relatively well under the aerobic conditions of lowland, were grown aerobically without fertilizer inputs in all six experiments. Plants were sampled during vegetative stage to determine stem number, plant height, leaf area, and total biomass. Heating of soil increased plant growth greatly in soils with an aerobic history but a relatively small increase was observed in soils with a flooded history as these plants nearly reached optimum growth. A growth increase with continuous aerobic soil was already observed with heating at 90°C for 12 h and at 120°C for as short as 3 h. Maximum plant growth response was observed with heating at 120°C for 12 h. Leaf area was most sensitive to soil heating, followed by total biomass and stem number. We conclude that soil heating provides a simple and quick test to determine whether a soil has any sign of sickness that is caused by continuous cropping of aerobic rice.


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