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Daily sap flow and maximum daily trunk shrinkage measurements for diagnosing water stress in early maturing peach trees during the post-harvest period

AuthorsConejero Puente, Wenceslao ; Alarcón Cabañero, Juan José ; García-Orellana, Y.; Abrisqueta García, José María ; Torrecillas Melendreras, Arturo
Irrigation scheduling
Trunk diameter fluctuations
Water relations
Issue DateJan-2007
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationTree Physiology 27(1):81-88 (2007)
AbstractWe compared the sensitivity of two continuously recorded plant-based water stress indicators (sap flow, SF, and maximum daily trunk shrinkage, MDS) to detect changes in the water status of 4-year-old early maturing peach trees (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch cv. Flordastar grafted on GF-677 peach rootstock) during a cycle of deficit irrigation and recovery. The feasibility of obtaining SF and MDS reference equations for use in irrigation scheduling during the post-harvest period was also studied in trees irrigated in excess of crop water requirements. We found that MDS was a more sensitive and reliable detector of changes in plant water status than SF, making it a more precise tool for irrigation scheduling. Baseline relationships between SF or MDS and the climatic variables (air temperature, vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and crop reference evapotranspiration (ETo)) were established, despite some scatter in the data. Among the climatic variables, SF correlated more closely with ETo, whereas MDS correlated more closely with mean daily air temperature (Tm). The fits of the regressions between MDS and ETo, midday air temperature and Tm for individual periods were better than those obtained in the overall regressions, confirming that daily stem diameter variations must be considered not only in the context of plant water status but also in the context of plant carbon status.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/27.1.81
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