The knowledge of crop response to water stress is crucial to predict transpiration reductions under limited soil water conditions and for a rational scheduling of irrigation.In order to assess whatever water stress model, it is necessary to estimate critical thresholds of soil water status, below which plant transpiration starts to decrease.The main objective of the work is to identify the shape and to determine the parameters of table olive orchards (Olea europaea, var. Nocellara del Belice) water stress function, assessed according to relative transpiration or leaf/stem water potential.In order to assess different water stress functions describing the eco-physiological field response to soil water status, an experimental campaign was carried out in a farm located in South-West coast of Sicily. Meteorological data and soil and crop water status were monitored during irrigation seasons 2008 and 2009.A value of soil matric potential of about −40 m was identified as the threshold below which actual transpiration decreases with decreasing soil water content. For values of soil matric potential higher than the critical threshold, actual transpiration resulted almost constant. A similar behavior was observed when the xylematic leaf/stem water potentials were used to quantify the crop water stress. Investigation also showed that the non-linear models better reproduced the initial phase of the transpiration reduction process; for the examined crop, in fact, convex shape models, typical of xerophytes, better reproduce the reductions of actual transpiration under the soil water deficit conditions recognized in the field.
|Numero di pagine||10|
|Rivista||Agricultural Water Management|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2013|
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