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Water use of irrigated almond trees when subjected to water deficits

Author

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  • López-López, Manuel
  • Espadafor, Mónica
  • Testi, Luca
  • Lorite, Ignacio Jesús
  • Orgaz, Francisco
  • Fereres, Elías

Abstract

Recently planted intensive almond plantations may have access to limited water supply due to water scarcity thus, information on almond water use under limited irrigation is needed. Here, the soil water balance was used to assess the consumptive use (ET) of full irrigated, moderately stressed and severely stressed almond trees over a three-year study, as well as the relation between applied water and ET. Sap flow measurements in eight experimental trees were used to obtain independent transpiration (T) measurements. Evaporation from soil (ES) was modelled to estimate tree T from the water balance. Relative consumptive use in the deficit irrigation (DI) treatments largely exceeded the relative applied water, highlighting the need to measure ET in stressed treatments for hydrologic purposes. The moderately stressed treatments (irrigated at 65.5% of full irrigation) consumed 79.0% of maximum evapotranspiration (ET of 897mm), while the severely stressed treatment consumed 63.6% of ETc (ET of 722mm) when applied water was only 39.6% of control. On average, almond ETc approached 1200mm, Seasonal evolution of the transpiration coefficient yielded maximum peak values ranging from 0.99 to 1.08, and minimum peak values of 0.33 attained with a severe deficit irrigation strategy. Transpiration measured by Compensated Heat Pulse-Calibrated Average Gradient sap-flow (x), was compared to water balance T estimates (y), and yielded a very good relation over the three years of study (y=0.90x+4.23, r2=0.81). The sap flow measurements proved to be useful to overcome the limitations of the soil water balance technique, revealing that almond trees were able to extract water from below the monitored depths and suggesting that deep percolation event must have occurred in spring and autumn.

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  • López-López, Manuel & Espadafor, Mónica & Testi, Luca & Lorite, Ignacio Jesús & Orgaz, Francisco & Fereres, Elías, 2018. "Water use of irrigated almond trees when subjected to water deficits," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 195(C), pages 84-93.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:195:y:2018:i:c:p:84-93
    DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2017.10.001
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    2. Liao, Yang & Cao, Hong-Xia & Xue, Wen-Kai & Liu, Xing, 2021. "Effects of the combination of mulching and deficit irrigation on the soil water and heat, growth and productivity of apples," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 243(C).
    3. García-Tejero, I.F. & Rubio, A.E. & Viñuela, I. & Hernández, A & Gutiérrez-Gordillo, S & Rodríguez-Pleguezuelo, C.R. & Durán-Zuazo, V.H., 2018. "Thermal imaging at plant level to assess the crop-water status in almond trees (cv. Guara) under deficit irrigation strategies," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 208(C), pages 176-186.
    4. Espadafor, M. & Orgaz, F. & Testi, L. & Lorite, I.J. & García-Tejera, O. & Villalobos, F.J. & Fereres, E., 2018. "Almond tree response to a change in wetted soil volume under drip irrigation," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 202(C), pages 57-65.
    5. Xiang, Keyu & Li, Yi & Horton, Robert & Feng, Hao, 2020. "Similarity and difference of potential evapotranspiration and reference crop evapotranspiration – a review," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 232(C).
    6. Saitta, Daniela & Consoli, Simona & Ferlito, Filippo & Torrisi, Biagio & Allegra, Maria & Longo-Minnolo, Giuseppe & Ramírez-Cuesta, Juan Miguel & Vanella, Daniela, 2021. "Adaptation of citrus orchards to deficit irrigation strategies," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 247(C).
    7. Venturin, Afonso Zucolotto & Guimarães, Claudinei Martins & Sousa, Elias Fernandes de & Machado Filho, José Altino & Rodrigues, Weverton Pereira & Serrazine, Ícaro de Araujo & Bressan-Smith, Ricardo &, 2020. "Using a crop water stress index based on a sap flow method to estimate water status in conilon coffee plants," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 241(C).
    8. Wang, Dong & Zhang, Huihui & Gartung, Jim, 2020. "Long-term productivity of early season peach trees under different irrigation methods and postharvest deficit irrigation," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 230(C).

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