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Individual study: Effects of soil management practices and irrigation on plant water relations and productivity of chestnut stands under Mediterranean conditions

Published source details

Martins A., Raimundo F., Borges O., Linhares I., Sousa V., Coutinho J.P., Gomes-Laranjo J. & Madeira M. (2010) Effects of soil management practices and irrigation on plant water relations and productivity of chestnut stands under Mediterranean conditions. Plant and Soil, 327, 57-70


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Crop production: Plant or maintain ground cover in orchards or vineyards Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2001–2006 in a chestnut orchard in northeast Portugal (same study as (8)) found higher chestnut yields in plots with resident vegetation (without tillage), compared to plots without ground cover (with conventional tillage). Crop yield: Higher chestnut yields were found in plots with ground cover, compared to plots without ground cover, in one of two comparisons (with resident vegetation: 27 vs 19 kg dry matter/tree). Implementation options: Lower chestnut yields were found in plots with seeded grasses and legumes, compared to resident vegetation (20 vs 27 kg dry matter/tree). Methods: There were three plots for each of two treatments (no tillage with ground cover: grasses and legumes, sown in 2001, or resident vegetation), and there were three control plots (conventional tillage, 15–20 cm depth, thrice/year). Each plot (600 m2) had six chestnut trees (40 years old in 2001) and was fertilized but not irrigated. Chestnuts were collected thrice/plot in 2003–2006. It was not clear whether these results were a direct effect of ground cover or tillage.

 

Water: Plant or maintain ground cover in orchards or vineyards Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2001–2006 in a chestnut orchard in northeast Portugal found that more water was available to chestnut trees in plots with ground cover (without tillage), compared to plots with conventional tillage, in the driest year. Water availability: More water was available to chestnut trees in plots with ground cover, in one of four years (2005, the driest year: data reported as higher predawn water potential in chestnut leaves). Similar amounts of water were found in soils with or without ground cover (0.1–0.2 cm3 water/cm3 soil, at most depths, on most dates). Implementation options: Similar amounts of water were available to chestnut trees in plots with seeded cover crops, compared to resident vegetation (data reported as predawn water potential in chestnut leaves). Similar amounts of water were found in soils with seeded cover crops, compared to resident vegetation (0.1–0.2 cm3 water/cm3 soil, at most depths, on most dates). Methods: There were three plots for each of two treatments (no tillage with resident vegetation or grasses and legumes, sown in 2001), and there were three control plots (conventional tillage, 15–20 cm depth, thrice/year). Each plot (600 m2) had six chestnut trees (40 years old in 2001) and was fertilized but not irrigated. Soil water content was measured weekly with time-domain reflectometer probes (0–15 and 0–30 cm depth: four samples/plot; 45 and 75 cm: 2 samples/plot), in 2003–2006. Water potential was measured in June–September 2003–2006 (August–September in 2005) with gas exchangers (12 leaves/plot, south facing, up to 3 m high, 7:00–13:00 hours).