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Yield and water productivity of five chickpea varieties under supplemental irrigation in contrasting years


Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is one of the most important pulse crops in the world, cultivated on a wide range of environments. In Mediterranean regions, it is traditionally grown as a spring-sown rainfed crop, very dependent on rainfall. In this situation, supplemental irrigation can improve significantly the crop yield. The objective of this study was to evaluate the improvement on chickpea crop yield and water productivity (WP) of five chickpea varieties with supplemental irrigation, in the Mediterranean conditions, with both dry and wet years. Field tests were carried out over two cropping seasons, in Southern Portugal, using three kabuli-type and two desi-type chickpea varieties and four irrigation treatments, corresponding to 100, 50, 25 % of crop irrigation requirements (IR) and rainfed. The results show that all chickpea varieties responded to supplemental irrigation with the increase in grain and biomass yield. However, the magnitude of individual chickpea response depends on the year and the genotype. In 2009, a dry year, the highest WP values were attained at the 50 % IR treatment, whereas in 2010, a wet year, it was the rainfed treatment that showed the highest WP values. The Elixir variety showed the best grain yields and water productivity.

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The authors would like to thank the financial support of the EU project ref. KBBE-2008-212337 (SWUP-MED) Sustainable water use securing food production in dry areas of the Mediterranean region, which allowed carrying out these experiments.

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Correspondence to L. L. Silva.

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Communicated by A.Kassam.

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Silva, L.L., Duarte, I., Lourenço, E. et al. Yield and water productivity of five chickpea varieties under supplemental irrigation in contrasting years. Irrig Sci 32, 393–403 (2014).

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  • Soil Water Content
  • Water Productivity
  • Harvest Index
  • Irrigation Treatment
  • Sowing Date