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Drip irrigation, soil characteristics and the root distribution and root activity of olive trees

AuthorsFernández Luque, José Enrique ; Moreno Lucas, Félix ; Cabrera, Francisco ; Arrúe Ugarte, José Luis ; Martín Aranda, José
Issue Date1991
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
CitationPlant and Soil 133: 239- 251 (1991)
AbstractA study was carried out on the root distribution and root activity of the olive tree (Olea Europaea, L., var. manzanillo) as influenced by drip irrigation and by several soil characteristics such as texture and depth. The experiments were conducted in two plots within a drip-irrigated grove of 20-year-old trees planted at 7×7 m spacing. One soil was a sandy loam, the other a clay-loam. Both cylinder and trench methods were used to determine root distribution. Labelling with 32P was used to determine root activity. Under dryland conditions the adult tree adapted its rooting system, following the installation of a drip system, by concentrating the roots within the wet soil zones near the drippers. The highest root densities occur in those zones, down to a 0.6 m depth, the most abundant being the <0.5 mm diameter roots. The most intensive root activity was also found in that zone. For a given irrigation system, wet soil bulbs are more extensive and therefore root distribution expands to a larger soil volume when the soil is more clayey and with a hard calcareous pan present at about 0.8 m depth which prevents deep drainage.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/BF00009196
issn: 0032-079X
e-issn: 1573-5036
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