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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 541397
Title Exploring optimal catch crops for reducing nitrate leaching in vegetable greenhouse in North China
Author(s) Zhang, Hongyuan; Hu, Kelin; Zhang, Lijuan; Ji, Yanzhi; Qin, Wei
Source Agricultural Water Management 212 (2019). - ISSN 0378-3774 - p. 273 - 282.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2018.09.018
Department(s) Chair Soil Biology and Biological Soil Quality
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Catch crop - Greenhouse vegetable field - N uptake - Nitrate leaching - Soil-crop system model
Abstract

Chinese intensive greenhouse vegetable systems are characterized by high input of water and nutrients, which are not sustainable. There is an urgent need to explore smart and practical strategies to convert the “high input-low output” systems to “optimal input-output” ones. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of different catch crops on reducing nitrate leaching in the vegetable greenhouse during the summer fallow season. A two-year field experiment with three catch crops, i.e., sweet corn (SC), amaranth (A) and sweet sorghum (SG), and no catch crop (CK) were conducted in vegetable greenhouse in Dingzhou city, Hebei province, China. The measured soil water content and inorganic nitrogen (N) content in soil profile, biomass and crop N uptake were used to validate the WHCNS (Soil Water Heat Carbon Nitrogen Simulator) model, soil water movement and nitrate leaching were simulated. The results showed that the catch crops decreased the water drainage by 18.2–29.0% and nitrate leaching by 23.3–42.3% respectively, compared with CK. The water drainage reduction ranked as SC > SG > A, while the nitrate leaching reduction was A > SC > SG. The biomass was SC > SG > A, while the crop N uptake was SC > A > SG. Sweet corn could absorb the residual nitrate in the deep soil layers due to the long root system, while amaranth could absorb most residual nitrate in the surface soil. Amaranth showed greater N-uptake capacity than sweet corn, and the nitrate was mainly accumulated in the surface soil. Planting amaranth as summer catch crop reduced nitrate leaching in the vegetable greenhouses. Our study provides a guideline for selecting effective catch crops in intensive vegetable greenhouses in North China.

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