Drying half of the root-zone from mid fruit growth to maturity in ‘Hass’ avocado (Persea americana Mill.) trees for one season reduced fruit production in two years

Book Title: NA
Year Published: 2009
Month Published: NA
Author: Neuhaus, A. ; Blight, A. ; Colmer, T.D. ; Turner, D.W.
Book Group Author: NA

We tested the effect of extended drying of half the root system on fruit yield and fruit Ca concentration, an indirect measure of fruit quality, in avocado (Persea americana Mill. cv Hass). In a field experiment on a sandy soil, withholding irrigation and plastic sheeting was used to dry the root-zone beneath the whole canopy (DD) or half the canopy (WD), compared with well-watered trees (WW). The irrigation water contained added nutrients and was slightly saline. Yield, shoot growth, leaf conductance, leaf and fruit water status and mineral concentrations of leaves and fruit were studied. The responses of treated trees were assessed in the following season during which normal irrigation practices were restored. With respect to yield, the WD treatment behaved the same as the DD treatment. It reduced yield by more than half and proportionately more than the reduction in water supply thus reducing irrigation efficiency. Re-watering did not restore yield of WD or DD-trees in the next season. The WD and DD treatments had no effect on the concentration of Ca in the fruit mesocarp and so are unlikely to affect fruit quality. The main impact of reduced water supply on the trees was fruit abscission and this was linked to dry soil around the roots rather than the water status of the leaves or fruits. We conclude that extended drying of half of the root-zone in one season reduced irrigation efficiency for two seasons by promoting the abscission of developing fruit to the same extent as occurred when the whole root system was exposed to extended drying.

Pages: 437 - 442
URL: http://0-search.ebscohost.com.catalog.library.colostate.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,url,cpid&custid=s4640792&db=agr&AN=IND44189773&site=ehost-live
Volume: 120
Number: 4
Journal: Scientia horticulturae
Journal ISO: NA
Organization: NA
Publisher: NA
ISSN: 03044238

irrigation water, plant growth, saline water, fruit quality,fertigation, mesocarp, fruit drop, water use efficiency, leafconductance, plant-water relations, mineral content, deficit irrigation,plant development, root systems, Persea americana, avocados, crop yield,calcium, field experimentation, developmental stages, temporalvariation, Western Australia

Source: EBSCO
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