Plant and Soil

, Volume 173, Issue 2, pp 317–328

Root water uptake by kiwifruit vines following partial wetting of the root zone

  • S. R. Green
  • B. E. Clothier
Research Article

Abstract

Rates of sap flow and root-water uptake by two 7-year old kiwifruit vines (Acinidia deliciosa) were studied in an orchard with the aim of determining the ability of the vines to alter their spatial pattern of root-water uptake following differential wetting of the root zone. Time-domain reflectometry (TDR) was used to monitor changes in the soil's volumetric water content, π. The heat-pulse technique was used to monitor sap flow not only in the stem but also in several large roots to see how root flow responded with local changes in soil water availability. Prior to irrigation there was a broad correspondence between the pattern of water uptake and the distribution of root-length density. However, following irrigation, we observed a preferential uptake of water from the wetter parts of the soil and a corresponding decline in water uptake from the drier parts of the soil. Observations of root uptake by TDR following irrigation also revealed the inordinate activity of near-surface roots. The vine would preferentially draw upon near-surface water if it were available. Kiwifruit vines are able to shift rapidly their pattern of uptake, in a matter of days, away from drier parts of the root zone and begin to extract water preferentially from those regions where it is more freely available. Upon full wetting of the root zone, previously inactive roots in the dry soil of the root zone were quickly able to recover their activity. Indeed their activity following rewatering was found to be greater than it had been prior to the period of soil dryness. A rapid flush of new root growth is considered to be the mechanism that leads to this enhanced activity.

Key words

kiwifruit sap flow time-domain reflectometry transpiration water uptake 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Atkinson D 1980 The distribution and effectiveness of the roots of tree crops. Hort. Rev. 2, 424–490.Google Scholar
  2. Baker J M and Allmaras R R 1990 System for automating and multiplexing soil moisture measurement by time-domain reflectometry. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 54, 1–6.Google Scholar
  3. Bielorai H 1982 The effect of partial wetting of the root zone on yield and water use efficiency in a drip- and sprinkler-irrigated mature grapefruit grove. Irrig. Sci. 3, 89–100.Google Scholar
  4. Bouten W, Heimovaara T J and Tiktak A 1992 Spatial patterns of throughfall and soil water dynamics in a Douglas-fir stand. Water Resour. Res. 28, 3227–3233.Google Scholar
  5. Cabibel B and Do F 1991 Mesures thermiques des flux de sève et comportement hydrique des arbres. II. Évolution dans le temps des flux de sève et comportement hydrique des arbres en présence ou non d'une irrigation localisée. Agronomy, 11, 757–766.Google Scholar
  6. Clothier B E, Scotter D R and Kerr J P 1977 Water retention in soil underlain by a coarse-textured layer: theory and a field application. Soil Sci. 123, 392–399.Google Scholar
  7. Clothier B E and Green S R 1994 Root zone processes and the efficient use of irrigation water. Agric. Water Manage. 25, 1–12.Google Scholar
  8. Clothier B E, Smettem K R J and Rahardjo P 1990 Sprinkler irrigation, roots and the uptake of water. In Field-scale Water and Solute Flux in Soils. Eds., K Ross, H Flühle W A Jury and J C Parker. pp 101–108. Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, Germany.Google Scholar
  9. Clothier B E, Snow V O, Green S R and Sauer T J et al. 1986 Water economy of kiwifruit vines. NZKA Spec. Publ. 1, 16–19.Google Scholar
  10. De Willigen P and van Noordwijk M 1987 Roots, plant production and nutrient use efficiency. PhD thesis, Agricultural University Wageningen, The Netherlands, 282 p.Google Scholar
  11. Garnier E, Berger A and Rambal S 1986 Water balance and pattern of soil water uptake in a peach orchard. Agric. For. Meteorol. 11, 145–158.Google Scholar
  12. Gandar P W and Hughes K A 1988 Kiwifruit root systems 1. Root-length densities. N. Z. J. Exp. Agric. 16, 35–46.Google Scholar
  13. Green S R and Clothier B E 1988 Water use of kiwifruit vines and apple trees by the heat-pulse technique. J. Exp. Bot. 39, 115–123.Google Scholar
  14. Green S R, McNaughton K J and Clothier B E 1989 Observations of night-time water use in kiwifruit vines and apple trees. Agric. For. Meteorol. 48, 251–261.Google Scholar
  15. Hughes K A, de Willigen P, Gandar P W and Clothier B E 1991 Kiwifruit root systems: Structure and function. Acta Hortic. 297, 383–389.Google Scholar
  16. Judd M J, McAneney K J and Wilson K S 1989 Influence of water stress on kiwifruit growth. Irrig. Sci. 10, 303–311.Google Scholar
  17. McAneney K J and Judd M J 1983 Observations of kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis Planch.) root exploration, root pressure, hydraulic conductivity, and water uptake. N. Z. J. Agric. Res. 26, 507–510.Google Scholar
  18. McAneney K J, Prendergast P T and Astill M S 1991 Irrigation management for optimum kiwifruit size. Acta Hortic. 279, 255–261.Google Scholar
  19. Moreshet S, Cohen Y and Fuchs M 1983 Response of mature ‘Shamouti’ orange trees to irrigation of different soil volumes and similar levels of available water. Irrig. Sci. 3, 223–236.Google Scholar
  20. Nnyamah J U and Black T A 1977 Rates and patterns of water uptake in a Douglas-fir forest. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 41, 972–979.Google Scholar
  21. Poni S, Tagliavini M, Neri D, Scudellari D and Toselli M 1992 Influence of root pruning and water stress on growth and physiological factors of potted apple, grape, peach and pear trees. Sci. Hortic. 52, 223–236.Google Scholar
  22. Powell D B B 1976 Some effects of water stress on the growth and development of apple trees. J. Hortic. Sci. 51, 75–90.Google Scholar
  23. Prendergast P T, McAneney K J, Astill M S, Wilson A D and Barber R F 1987 Kiwifruit water use and fruit expansion. N. Z. J. Exp. Agric. 15, 345–350.Google Scholar
  24. Swanson R H and Whitfield D W A 1981 A numerical analysis of heat-pulse velocity theory and practise. J. Exp. Bot. 32, 221–239.Google Scholar
  25. Tan C S and Buttery B R 1982 The effect of soil moisture stress to various fractions of the root system on transpiration, photosynthesis, and internal water relations of peach seedlings. J. Am. Soc. Hortic. Sci. 107 845–849.Google Scholar
  26. Topp G C, Davis J L and Annan A P 1980 Electromagnetic determination of soil water content: Measurements in coaxial transmission lines. Water Resour. Res. 16, 574–582.Google Scholar
  27. Welbank P J and Williams E D 1968 Root growth of a barley crop estimated by sampling with portable powered soil-coring equipment. J. Appl. Ecol. 5, 477–481.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. R. Green
    • 1
  • B. E. Clothier
    • 1
  1. 1.Environment GroupHortResearch InstitutePalmerston NorthNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations