Effect of soil cultivation system on the efficiency of the photosynthetic apparatus…

Effect of soil cultivation system on the efficiency of the photosynthetic apparatus in maize leaves (Zea mays L.) – Anna Stępień-Warda

The cultivation of maize in no-tillage farming systems has become increasingly important in recent years, due to the observed climate changes and the increasing droughts. Such a cultivation system has a positive effect on the physicochemical and biological properties of the soil, but above all allows for greater retention of water available to plants. The aim of the research was to assess the effect of the method of soil preparation for sowing maize grown in monoculture (plough, reduced, direct seeding) on the efficiency of photosystem II (PSII) in leaves and the yield of maize (Zea mays L.). The field experiment was carried out in 2017–2019 at the Agricultural Experimental Station IUNG-PIB in Grabów (Mazowieckie Voivodeship), using the split-block method. On three treatments, maize was grown in monoculture, and in a control treatment, in rotation. Three methods of preparing the soil for sowing in monoculture were used: full plough tillage, reduced tillage and direct seeding. The research showed, that the applied tillage system had a significant impact on the parameters of chlorophyll fluorescence and the yielding of maize, while the weather conditions, especially rainfall, were also of great importance. In conditions of water deficiency in the soil, maize cultivated in the reduced tillage and in direct seeding yielded better than in the crop rotation with full plough tillage. Also chlorophyll fluorescence indices (Fv/Fm and PI) in plants cultivated without the use of plough tillage showed higher values than in plants cultivated in rotation, which proves more effective functioning of photosystem II in the conditions of no-tillage cultivation with limited rainfall and greater efficiency of the photosynthetic apparatus under these conditions, which was reflected in the yielding of maize.

Keywords: maize, chlorophyll fluorescence, direct seeding, reduced tillage, monoculture, climate changes