Multiple environmental benefits of alternate wetting and drying irrigation system with limited yield impact on European rice cultivation: The Ebre Delta case
Teh, Yit Arn
Price, Adam H.
The AWD is an irrigation technology for rice cultivation, consisting in implementing alternate draining and flooded periods over the growing season, that delivers multiple environmental benefits, such as reduced water consumption, CH4 emissions and arsenic (As) grain content, but can be offset by yield losses. The trade-offs between the agronomic and environmental effects of AWD are crop context-dependent and they also vary among the different versions of AWD studied. Therefore, the implementation of a safe AWD needs to be preceded by studies conducted within a specific rice cropping system. A two-year field experiment was conducted to assess the effect of AWD on grain yield, As and heavy metal content in grains, and greenhouse gas emissions in nine representative European rice cultivars grown in a Mediterranean growing area. The experiment was performed in a split-plot design with four replications. The study revealed a significant cultivar effect on the agronomic response to AWD. Among the studied cultivars, one of them performed as tolerant to AWD while a group formed by four cultivars showed slight non-significant yield decline. AWD significantly reduced CH4 emissions and the global warming potential by 90% being such a large mitigation capacity explained by the negligible N2O emissions found in both water treatments. Finally, the implementation of AWD significantly reduced by ca. 40% As grain concentration but increased cadmium content, though the levels remained below the recommended thresholds. Further, AWD increased key nutritional elements like cupper, selenium, and zinc. In conclusion, this study confirms that AWD can be safely implemented in Mediterranean rice cultivation conditions with limited or null yield impact while obtaining the associated environmental benefits of this practice
574 - General ecology and biodiversity
Is part of
Agricultural Water Management
Martínez-Eixarch, Maite, Carles Alcaraz, Mercè Guàrdia, Mar Català-Forner, Andrea Bertomeu, Stefano Monaco, and Nicole Cochrane et al. 2021. "Multiple Environmental Benefits Of Alternate Wetting And Drying Irrigation System With Limited Yield Impact On European Rice Cultivation: The Ebre Delta Case". Agricultural Water Management 258: 107164. doi:10.1016/j.agwat.2021.107164.
Grant agreement number
EC/FP7/618105/EU/Food security, Agriculture, Climate Change ERA-NET plus/FACCE ERA NET PLUS
Aigües Marines i Continentals
Cultius Extensius Sostenibles
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- ARTICLES CIENTÍFICS 
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