Sensitivity to water deficit of the second stage of fruit growth in late mandarin trees

Berríos, P.; Abdelmalek, T.; Zapata G.; Franco, J.A.; Pérez-Pastor, A.


In citrus fruits, phases I and II of fruit growth are sensitive to water deficit, and for this reason, deficit irrigation (DI) has been usually restricted to the final ripening phase. However, the optimal timing and intensity of stress during sensitive phases have not been clearly defined. The main objective was to determine the sensitivity of the second stage of fruit growth to water deficit in adult mandarin trees, and to explore the suitability of different soil and plant water status indicators, including the leaf-scale spectrum, according to the water stress level. Four irrigation treatments were tested: a control (CTL) irrigated at ~ 80% of ETc during the entire crop cycle, and three irrigation suppression treatments, in which no water was applied during the end of phase I and the beginning of phase II (DI1), the second half of phase II (DI2), and phase III of fruit growth (DI3), respectively. Phase II of fruit growth can be considered as a non-critical phenological period until the fruit reaches approximately 60% of its final size, with the application of a water deficit using an irrigation threshold of midday stem water potential of − 1.8 MPa, and a cumulative water stress integral close to 28 MPa day. The novel visible infrared ratio index (VIRI) showed a high sensitivity for trees subjected to moderate and severe water stress and can be complementarily used to estimate on a larger temporal and spatial scale the plant water status. Wavelengths in the short-wave infrared (SWIR) region allowed differentiation between non-stressed, moderately, and severely water-stressed trees, and can be considered as an initial basis for determining the water status of mandarin trees at various stress intensities by remote sensing.

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Título de la Revista: IRRIGATION SCIENCE
Editorial: Springer
Fecha de publicación: 2022

Notas: WOS