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Water relations of field grown Pomegranate trees (Punica granatum) under different drip irrigation regimes

Autores: D.S. Intrigliolo, E. Nicolas, L. Bonet, P. Ferrer, J.J. Alarcón, J. Bartual
Palabras clave: Deficit irrigation; Photosynthesis; Stem water potential; Stomatal conductance
Fecha de publicación: 2011
Publicado en: Agricultural Water Management

Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is a deciduous fruit tree native of central Asia included in the socalled
group of minor fruit tree species, not widely grown but of some importance in the south east of
Spain. Fruit consumption interest is due to the organoleptic characteristics and to the beneficial effects
on health. Pomegranate tree are considered as a culture tolerant to soil water deficit. However, very little
is known about pomegranate orchard water management. The objective of this work was to characterize,
for the first time in P. granatum, water relations aspects of applied significance for irrigation scheduling.
Trees under different irrigation regimes were used and midday stem water potential (stem) and midday
leaf gas exchange were periodically measured over the course of an entire season. During spring
and autumn, stem did not show significant differences between irrigation treatments while there were
considerable differences in leaf photosynthesis and stomatal conductance, suggesting a near-isohydric
behaviour of pomegranate trees. This might explain why the signal intensity of stem was lower than
those of gas exchange indicators during the experimental period. Thus, leaf photosynthesis rates and
stomatal conductance might have a greater potential for irrigation scheduling of pomegranate trees than
stem measured at solar noon.

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