Effects of salinity and sodicity on the seasonal dynamics of actual evapotranspiration and surface energy balance components in mature micro-irrigated pistachio orchards
This article presents findings from a field research study conducted in the San Joaquin Valley of California in 2016-2018 to appraise the effects of soil salinity and sodicity on evapotranspiration and energy balance components of micro-irrigated pistachio orchards. Actual evapotranspiration (ETa) and tree physiologic parameters were measured during consecutive growing seasons in mature orchards grown on non-saline and saline/sodic soils. Salinity and sodicity decreased pistachio water use by about 30%, with ET(a)reductions varying along the growing season. Accurate information on the dynamics of ET(a)and energy balance components along the growing season can improve water management for nut orchards exposed to long-term saline-sodic conditions. Results show that the main driver of ET(a)was the net radiation (Rn), which supplied most of the energy to vaporize water, irrespective of the growth period and level of salinity/sodicity. Field observations revealed that Rn was lower for salt-affected trees due to smaller canopies, which intercepted less light than non-saline trees. Secondarily, the exchange of sensible heat (H) between the ambient air and tree canopies was affected by the interaction between salinity-sodicity and seasonality. Early in the season, salinity and sodicity affected ET(a)mainly through the reduced canopy growth, which decreased the available energy (Rn-G) for ET(a)and reduced the water uptake as a result of the lower soil water potential. Late in the season, an increase in H and a decrease in the contribution of the aerodynamic component (beta coefficient) to the latent heat flux (LE) occurred, which determined a further reduction of ET(a)due to a physiological response. The decrease in the beta coefficient during the late season was associated with a direct impact of ion accumulation on leaf functionality. Collecting data on the contribution of the aerodynamic component to LE offers a low-cost method to detect and quantify physiological stress, while providing useful information for managing irrigation in salt-affected orchards. The results presented in this article provide insights to improve irrigation management of salt-affected pistachio through integration of weather measurements, energy balance components, and plant-based parameters.
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|Effects of salinity and sodicity on the seasonal dynamics of actual evapotranspiration and surface energy balance components in mature micro-irrigated pistachio orchards
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