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Root dynamics of peach trees submitted to partial rootzone drying and continuous deficit irrigation

AutorAbrisqueta García, José María ; Mounzer, Oussama ; Álvarez Martín, Sara ; Conejero Puente, Wenceslao ; García-Orellana, Y.; Tapia, L. M.; Vera Muñoz, Juan ; Abrisqueta Villena, Isabel ; Ruiz Sánchez, M. Carmen
Palabras claveMinirhizotrons
Root length density
Root dynamics
Peach trees
Partial rootzone drying
Deficit irrigation
Fecha de publicaciónago-2008
CitaciónAgricultural Water Management 95(8): 959-967 (2008)
ResumenThe root dynamics of young early-season peach trees (Prunus persica L. Batsch, cv. Flordastar) were studied during one growing season. The trees were submitted to three drip irrigation treatments: T1 (control) irrigated at 100% of the estimated crop evapotranspiration (ETc) requirements, T2 (continuous deficit) irrigated at 50% ETc and T3 (partial rootzone drying, PRD, treatment), alternating irrigation from one half to the other every 2-3 weeks. Root length was measured frequently using minirhizotrons and a circular-vision scanner. Overall, root length density was reduced by ≈73% in the continuous deficit irrigated treatment and by ≈42% in the T3 treatment with respect to the well irrigated treatment. A roughly similar amount of water was applied in both deficit irrigated treatments (44 and 56% of T1, for T2 and T3, respectively), but the continuous deficit irrigation applied to both sides of the root system in T2 resulted in a greater reduction in root growth than in T3. The dynamics of the root growth were similar in the three treatments. In general, root growth declined during the fruit growth period and increased after harvest, reaching its peak in mid July. By late July, root growth had declined again, and an alternating pattern of growth between the aerial and root parts of the tree was observed. Roots were mostly located in the upper 0.55 m of soil and were particularly concentrated at 0.40-0.55 m. More than 88% of these roots were very thin, with diameters of <0.5 mm. The study looks at the impact of deficit irrigation on the phenological processes related with root growth, and will help in making decisions concerning fertigation in areas with scarce water resources where deficit irrigation strategies are considered desirable. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Versión del editorhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2008.03.003
Identificadoresissn: 0378-3774
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