Plant and Soil

, Volume 183, Issue 1, pp 149–160 | Cite as

Rainfed vetch-barley mixed cropping in the Syrian semi-arid conditions

II. Water use efficiency and root distribution
  • A. Arslan
  • F. Kurdali


Water consumption and root distribution of vetch (Avena sativa L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) in a monoculture and a mixed culture were studied at Jillin station in South-west Syria in a semi-arid region under rainfed conditions. The experiment was conducted in two consecutive years during the 1991/92 and 1992/93 seasons, using a factorial complete block design. There were altogether four blocks, one of which was harvested at the physiological maturity while the remaining three blocks were subjected to three successive harvests per season. The soil had a silty clay texture with EC e ranging from 0.3 to 0.6 dS m-1. The moisture content at 15 cm intervals was determined using an “in situ” calibrated neutron scattering probe. The dry weight of the roots was determined three times at 15 cm depth intervals during each of the successive harvests. The dry weights of the roots were in harmony with the harvested above ground dry matter under the different treatments. The WUE of all treatments in the second season were higher than those of the first. Their values ranged from 1.62 to 2.37 times of the first. This is due to the high water content at the beginning of the second season (47.82 cm in 165 cm soil depth) compared to the first (37.32 cm in 165 cm soil depth). Good rainfall distribution during the second growing season might be another factor.

Key words

barley mixed cropping roots distribution soil moisture vetch water use efficiency 



mono culture stand of vetch


mono culture stand of barley


mixed stand of vetch and barley


vetch in the mixed stand


barley in the mixed stand

H1, H2 and H3

first, second and third harvest, respectively


plant harvested once at physiological maturity

S1 and S2

first and second season


water use efficiency




saturated hydraulic conductivity


unsaturated hydraulic conductivity


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Arslan
    • 1
  • F. Kurdali
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiation AgricultureAtomic Energy CommissionDamascusSyria

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