Feasibility of trunk diameter fluctuations in the scheduling of regulated deficit irrigation for table olive trees without reference trees
|Author||Corell González, Mireia
Martín Palomo, María José
Galindo Egea, A.
Torrecillas Melendreras, Arturo
Moreno Lucas, Félix
Moriana Elvira, Alfonso
Girón Moreno, Ignacio Francisco
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Ciencias Agroforestales|
|Published in||Agricultural Water Management 161, 114–126|
|Abstract||Regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) results are affected by the actual water stress level reached during the treatments. The irrigation scheduling based on water status measurements, such as trunk diameter fluctuations, can ...
Regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) results are affected by the actual water stress level reached during the treatments. The irrigation scheduling based on water status measurements, such as trunk diameter fluctuations, can control in an accurate way the water restrictions. However, the number of works that use these indicators as isolate parameter to control the schedule is scarce in general, and very scarce in olive trees. Building on previous works, the aim of this article is to schedule an RDI strategy in olive trees based on threshold values of maximum daily shrinkage (MDS) and trunk growth rate (TGR) without reference trees. The experiment was performed in a 40 years-old table olive orchard (cv Manzanillo) in Seville (Spain) for 3 years (seasons from 2011 to 2013). Three different irrigation treatments were considered in a completely randomized block design. Control trees were over-irrigated (125% crop evapotranspiration, ETc) in order to obtain fully irrigated conditions. Water stress conditions were applied during Phase II (pit hardening) in the RDI-2 treatment or during Phase II and Phase I (full bloom) in RDI-12. In both RDIs, a treatment recovery (Phase III) was performed before harvest. The trunk diameter fluctuation indicator was selected according to the phenological stage. TGR was used in conditions of full irrigation or moderate water stress level, such as Phase I and Phase III. TGR threshold values based on previous works were selected: 20 mday−1, RDI-2; 10 mday−1, RDI-12 (Phase I) and −5 mday−1, both treatments, Phase III. Only in one season RDI-2 was scheduled with TGR values (−10 mday−1) during Phase II. MDS threshold values were determined as the ratio between measured MDS and fully irrigated MDS (the so called MDS signal). The latter was estimated from a baseline. During Phase II, RDI-2 was irrigated with a threshold value of 0.9, while RDI-12 was irrigated with a threshold value of 0.75. MDS signal was not useful for most of the period considered and it did not agree well with fruit drop or fruit size. Conversely, the average of TGR during Phase II was significantly linked to fruit drop and fruit size, and so were the midday stem water potential and stress integral. Recommendations about the management of TGR are discussed. The water stress level in the experiments was moderate and no significant differences in yield were found. However, the trend of yield reduction in RDI-12 was likely related with a fruit drop and a reduction in crown volume. The yield quality did not decrease in the RDIs treatments, on the contrary, pulp:stone ratio improved significantly in some of the seasons.