University Of Tasmania
149694 - Shifting rice cropping systems mitigates ecological footprints and enhances grain yield in central China.pdf (2.89 MB)
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Shifting rice cropping systems mitigates ecological footprints and enhances grain yield in central China

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 07:06 authored by Zhou, Y, Ke LiuKe Liu, Matthew HarrisonMatthew Harrison, Fahad, S, Gong, S, Zhu, B, Liu, Z
Intensive cereal production has brought about increasingly serious environmental threats, including global warming, environmental acidification, and water shortage. As an important grain producer in the world, the rice cultivation system in central China has undergone excessive changes in the past few decades. However, few articles focused on the environmental impacts of these shifts from the perspective of ecological footprints. In this study, a 2-year field trial was carried out in Hubei province, China, to gain insight into carbon footprint (CF), nitrogen footprint (NF), and water footprint (WF) performance. The three treatments were, namely, double-rice system (DR), ratoon rice system (RR), and rice-wheat system (RW). Results demonstrated that RR significantly increased the grain yield by 10.22–15.09% compared with DR, while there was no significant difference in the grain yield between RW and DR in 2018–2019. All of the calculation results by three footprint approaches followed the order: RR < RW < DR; meanwhile, RR was always significantly lower than DR. Methane and NH3 field emissions were the hotspots of CF and NF, respectively. Blue WF accounts for 40.90–42.71% of DR, which was significantly higher than that of RR and RW, primarily because DR needs a lot of irrigation water in both seasons. The gray WF of RW was higher than those of DR and RR, mainly due to the higher application rate of N fertilizer. In conclusion, RR possesses the characteristics of low agricultural inputs and high grain yield and can reduce CF, NF, and WF, considering the future conditions of rural societal developments and rapid demographic changes; we highlighted that the RR could be a cleaner and sustainable approach to grain production.


Grains Research & Development Corporation


Publication title

Frontiers in Plant Science



Article number









Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


Frontiers Research Foundation

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2022 Zhou, Liu, Harrison, Fahad, Gong, Zhu and Liu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Management of greenhouse gas emissions from plant production; Management of gaseous waste from plant production (excl. greenhouse gases); Management of water consumption by plant production