Limitations and usefulness of maximum daily shrinkage (MDS) and trunk growth rate (TGR) indicators in the irrigation scheduling of table olive trees
Corell González, Mireia
Moriana Elvira, Alfonso
Martín Palomo, María José
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Ciencias Agroforestales|
|Published in||Agricultural Water Management, 164,(1) 38–45|
|Abstract||Maximum daily trunk shrinkage (MDS) is the most popular indicator derived from trunk diameter fluctuations in most fruit trees and has been reported to be one of the earliest signs in the detection of water stress. However, ...
Maximum daily trunk shrinkage (MDS) is the most popular indicator derived from trunk diameter fluctuations in most fruit trees and has been reported to be one of the earliest signs in the detection of water stress. However, in some species such as olive trees (Olea europaea L.), MDS does not usually change in water stress conditions and trunk growth rate (TGR) has been suggested as better indicator. Most of this lack of sensitivity to drought conditions has been related to the relationship between the MDS and the water potential. This curvilinear relationship produces an uncertain zone were great variations of water potential do not imply any changes of MDS. The MDS signal, the ratio between measured MDS and estimated MDS with full irrigation, has been thought to be a better indicator than MDS, as it reduces the effect of the environment.. On the other hand, though literature results suggest an effect of environment in TGR values, there are not clear relationship between this indicator and meteorological data. The aims of this work are, on one hand, to study the improvements of the baseline approach in the MDS signal and, on the other, study the influence of several meteorological variables in TGR. Three years’ data from an irrigation experiment were used in to carry out the MDS analysis and six years’ data for full irrigated trees during pit hardening period were used for TGR study. The comparison between MDS vs. water potential and MDS signal vs. water potential presented a great scattering in both relationships. Values of MDS signal between 1.1 and 1.4 were always identified with moderate water stress conditions (−1.4 to −2 MPa of water potential). However, since this MDS signal values are around the maximum in the curvilineal relationship with water potential, greater values of MDS signal (in the range of 1.1–1.4) were not necessary lower values of water potential. In addition, during low fruit load seasons MDS signal was not an accurate indicator. On the other hand, absolute values of several climatological measurements were not significantly related with TGR. Only daily increments explain part of the variations of TGR in full irrigated trees. In all the data analysed, the daily increment of average vapour pressure deficit was the best indicator related with TGR. The increase of this indicator decreased TGR values. In addition, the agreement between this indicator and TGR was affected for fruit load. Great yield seasons decrease the influence of VPD increment in TGR.