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Response of vegetative growth and fruit development to regulated deficit irrigation at different growth stages of pear-jujube tree
- Cui, Ningbo, Du, Taisheng, Li, Fusheng, Tong, Ling, Kang, Shaozhong, Wang, Mixia, Liu, Xiaozhi, Li, Zhijun
- Agricultural water management 2009 v.96 no.8 pp. 1237-1246
- vegetative growth, deficit irrigation, plant response, plant-water relations, Ziziphus jujuba, fruiting, water use efficiency, leaves, photosynthesis, shoots, leaf area index, pruning, irrigation water, optimization, crop yield, China
- In order to investigate the response of vegetative growth, fruit development and water use efficiency to regulated deficit irrigation at different growth stages of pear-jujube tree (Zizyphus jujube Mill.), different water deficit at single-stage were treated on field grown 7-year old pear-jujube trees in 2005 and 2006. Treatments included severe (SD), moderate (MD) and low (LD) water deficit treatments at bud-burst to leafing (I), flowering to fruit set (II), fruit growth (III) and fruit maturation (IV) stages. Compared to the full irrigation (control), different water deficit treatments at different growth stages reduced photosynthesis rate (P n) slightly and transpiration rate (T r) significantly, thus it improved leaf water use efficiency (WUEL, defined as the ratio of P n to T r) by 2.7-26.1%. After the re-watering, P n had significant compensatory effect, but T r was not enhanced significantly, thus WUEL was improved by 31.4-42.2%. I-SD, I-MD, II-SD and II-MD decreased new shoot length, new shoot diameter and panicle length by 8-28%, 13-23% and 10-31%, respectively. Simultaneously, they reduced leaf area index (LAI) and pruning amount significantly. Flowering of pear-jujube tree advanced by 3-8 days in the water deficit treatments at stage I, Furthermore, SD and MD at stage I increased flowers per panicle and final fruit set by 18.9-40.5% and 15.5-36.6%, respectively. After a period of re-watering, different water deficit treatments at different growth stages improved the fruit growth rate by 15-30% without reduction of the final fruit volume. Compared to the control, I-MD, I-SD, I-LD, I-MD and I-SD treatments increased fruit yield by 13.2-31.9%, but reduced water consumption by 9.7-17.5%, therefore, they enhanced water use efficiency at yield level (WUEY, defined as ratio of fruit yield to total water use) by 17.3-41.4%. Therefore, suitable period and degree of water deficit can reduce irrigation water and restrain growth redundancy significantly, and it optimize the relationship between vegetative growth and reproductive growth of pear-jujube trees, which maintained or slightly increased the fruit yield, thus water use efficiency was significantly increased.