Evapotranspiration partitioning and crop coefficient of maize in dry semi-humid climate regime

Yunfei Wang, Huanjie Cai*, Lianyu Yu, Xiongbiao Peng, Jiatun Xu, Xiaowen Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Guanzhong Plain is one of the most critical maize production areas in Northwest China. It is essential to study the maize irrigation requirement and improve water use efficiency in this area. There is a lack of knowledge about the evaporation portioning and irrigation requirements of crops grown in this region. Based on evapotranspiration observed in a maize cropland using the eddy covariance (EC) technique during four growing seasons (2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017), the seasonal variation of evapotranspiration components and the crop coefficients (Kc) for summer maize in a dry semi-arid area were determined. Energy partitioning has an obvious seasonal variation during growing seasons. The pattern of evapotranspiration partitioning has a clear seasonal variation with the development of the canopy. The pattern of the ratio of transpiration (T) to evapotranspiration (ET) is consistent with the canopy development. For four growing seasons, on a seasonal basis, the ratios of T to ET and E to ET were comparable. In addition, the locally developed crop coefficients were 0.57, 1.01, and 0.50 for the initial, mid, and late stages, respectively. The single crop coefficient derived from local datasets can provide a good prediction of ET. The Kc values reported in this paper were consistent with previous studies conducted in other regions using EC systems but were generally lower than the Kc values derived from ET data measured by lysimeters, the Bowen Ratio Energy Balance system, and the soil water balance method. This indicates that the variability of the locally developed crop coefficient caused by measurement methods is higher than the variability caused by climate.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106164
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalAgricultural water management
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2020




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