Water status and yield response to deficit irrigation and fertilization of three olive oil cultivars under the semi-arid conditions of Tunisia

Giuseppe Provenzano, Faouzi Attia, Mouna Aïachi Mezghani, Amel Mguidiche, Imen Zouari, Faiza Allouche Khebour

Risultato della ricerca: Article

Abstract

Sustainability of olive production is possible by adopting the modern techniques of irrigation and fertilization. In Tunisia, olive trees are usually cultivated in poor soils, under semi-arid conditions characterized by water scarcity. This study investigated the effects of different water supply and fertilization on leaf water status and crop yield of three different olive oil varieties cultivated in central Tunisia, during four experimental seasons (2014-2017). Three treatments were examined: trees conducted under rainfed conditions (TRF), which represented the control treatment, trees irrigated with 50% ETc (T50) and, finally, trees irrigated with 50% ETc and with additional fertilization (T50F). Leaf water content and potential, yield and water use efficiency have been monitored on three different varieties, Chetoui, Chemlali, and Koroneiki, which are quite typical in the considered region. For all the growing seasons, midday leaf water potentials were measured from April to September. Midday leaf water potentials (MLWP) were generally higher for the two irrigated treatments (T50 and T50F) than for non-irrigated trees (TRF). As the season proceeded, MLWPs tended to decrease during summer for all the treatments and varieties. The lowest values were observed for the non-irrigated trees, varying between -3.25 MPa to -4.75 MPa. Relative leaf water content followed the same trends of midday leaf water potentials. Chetoui showed the lowest yield, which did not exceed 1530 Kg/(ha year), even for irrigated and fertilized trees. On the other hand, the yields of Chemlali and Koroneiki, cumulated in the four years, reached the maximum value of about 20 tons/ha. For these two varieties, the cumulated yield obtained in the control treatment (TRF) resulted significantly lower than the corresponding of the other two treatments (T50 and T50F). The highest irrigation water use efficiency (WUE) was estimated for Chemlali (T50) and (TRF). WUE was equal to 1.22 Kg/m3 for Koroneiki under fertigated treatment (T50F). Application of the only water supply (50% ETc) or associated with fertilizer improved the tree water status and increased the productivity of Chemlali and Koroneiki varieties.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-18
Numero di pagine18
RivistaSustainability
Volume11
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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