Permanent raised beds improved soil structure and yield of spring wheat in arid north-western China

He, J. and McHugh, A. D. and Li, H. W. and Wang, Q. J. and Li, W. Y. and Rasaily, R. G. and Li, H. (2012) Permanent raised beds improved soil structure and yield of spring wheat in arid north-western China. Soil Use and Management, 28 (4). pp. 536-543. ISSN 0266-0032


In arid north-western China, soil degradation, limited water and subsequent yield decline, largely as a result of excessive tillage and residue removal practices, are the main factors limiting further development of local agriculture. The effects of permanent raised beds (PRB), no-till (NT) and traditional tillage (TT) on soil structure and yield were investigated in a wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) – maize (Zea mays L.) cropping system from 2004 to 2009 in the Hexi Corridor of Gansu Province, China. PRB and NT had more macro-aggregates (>0.25 mm, +2.7%), a better distribution of pore size classes and improved hydraulic conductivity, whereas TT soils were dominated by micro-aggregates and micro-porosity. In PRB, soil bulk density decreased significantly by 6.3 and 7.0% for the 0- to 10-cm and 20- to 30-cm depths relative to TT. The PRB mean crop yields increased by 4.2% and water use efficiency improved by 21.3% compared with TT because of greater soil moisture and improved soil physical and chemical status. These improvements in soil properties, yield and water use are of considerable importance for soil regeneration, food security and sustainable agriculture in arid regions, such as north-western China.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2012 British Society of Soil Science. Published online 9 Oct 2012. Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2012 05:39
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2014 03:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: permanent raised beds; soil fertility; aggregate stability; soil porosity; yield
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050304 Soil Chemistry (excl. Carbon Sequestration Science)
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050302 Land Capability and Soil Degradation
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9614 Soils > 961402 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Soils
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-2743.2012.00445.x

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