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Characteristics and Potential Usage of Dissolved Silica in Rice Cultivation in Sumani Watershed, Sumatra, Indonesia

Hiroaki Somura, Darmawan, Kuniaki Sato, Makoto Ueno, Husnain, Aflizar and Tsugiyuki Masunaga

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 39, Issue 4, November 2016

Keywords: Irrigation water, lake watershed, DSi dynamics, sustainable rice production, humid tropical zone

Published on: 21 Oct 2016

Research on watershed silica dynamics in Indonesia has been sparse as most of the focus on water environment has centred on suspended sediments, nitrogen and phosphorous. Thus, Si concentrations in rivers and their seasonal and spatial variations are not well understood. Silicon helps rice plants to overcome abiotic and biotic stresses by preventing lodging and increasing resistance against pests and diseases. Rice is one of the more important crops in the country, and information on Si concentrations in rivers is useful because river water is a primary irrigation source. In this study, we conducted a preliminary research on temporal and spatial variations in dissolved Si (DSi) concentrations at watershed scale to help achieve an efficient use of Si resources through irrigation water management. The Sumani Watershed, located approximately 50 km east of Padang City in West Sumatra, Indonesia, was selected as the target area. Lake Dibawah lies on the upstream end of the watershed, and water is discharged from the watershed into Lake Singkarak. The results verified that Lake Dibawah had a dam effect of naturally reducing DSi concentrations in water. In addition, the average DSi concentration from the samples obtained from rivers, small channels, and ditches from October 2013 to December 2014 did not show strong seasonal patterns at each site but revealed clear spatial differences among sub-watersheds linked to the groundwater from Mt. Talang. The watershed has a high capability of supplying DSi to paddy fields via irrigation water.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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