Plant and Soil

, Volume 255, Issue 1, pp 333–341

Tomato root distribution, yield and fruit quality under subsurface drip irrigation

  • Rui M.A. Machado
  • Maria do Rosário
  • G. Oliveira
  • Carlos A. M. Portas
Article

Abstract

Tomato rooting patterns were evaluated in a 2-year field trial where surface drip irrigation (R0) was compared with subsurface drip irrigation at 20 cm (RI) and 40 cm (RII) depths. Pot-transplanted plants of two processing tomato, `Brigade' (C1) and `H3044' (C2), were used. The behaviour of the root system in response to different irrigation treatments was evaluated through minirhizotrons installed between two plants, in proximity of the plant row. Root length intensity (La), length of root per unit of minirhizotron surface area (cm cm−2) was measured at blooming stage and at harvest. For all sampling dates the depth of the drip irrigation tube, the cultivar and the interaction between treatments did not significantly influence La. However differences between irrigation treatments were observed as root distribution along the soil profile and a large concentration of roots at the depth of the irrigation tubes was found. For both surface and subsurface drip irrigation and for both cultivars most of the root system was concentrated in the top 40 cm of the soil profile, where root length density ranged between 0.5 and 1.5 cm cm−3. Commercial yields (t ha−1) were 87.6 and 114.2 (R0), 107.5 and 128.1 (RI), 105.0 and 124.8 (RII), for 1997 and 1998, respectively. Differences between the 2 years may be attributed to different climatic conditions. In the second year, although no significant differences were found among treatments, slightly higher values were observed with irrigation tubes at 20 cm depth. Fruit quality was not significantly affected by treatments or by the interaction between irrigation tube depth and cultivar.

minirhizotron processing tomato root length intensity subsurface drip irrigation 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bar-Yosef B 1977 Trickle irrigation and fertilization of tomatoes in sand dunes: water, N and P distributions in the soil and uptake by plants. Agron. J. 69, 486-491.Google Scholar
  2. Bar-Yosef B, Stammers C and Sagiv B 1980 Growth of trickleirrigated tomato as related to rooting volume and uptake of N and water. Agron. J. 72, 815-822.Google Scholar
  3. Bar-Yosef B, Martinez H J J, Sagiv B, Levkovitch I, Markovitch and Phene C J 1991 Processing tomato response to surface and subsurface drip phosphorus fertigation. Bard Project Scientific Report. pp. 175-191. Bet Dagan, Israel.Google Scholar
  4. Brown D A and Scott H D 1984 Dependence of crop growth and yield on root development and activity. In Roots, Nutrient and Water Influx and Plant Growth. Eds. S A Barber and D R Bouldin. pp. 101-135. ASA Special Publication 49.Google Scholar
  5. Camp C R 1998 Subsurface drip irrigation: a review. Trans. ASAE 41(5), 1353-1367.Google Scholar
  6. Castilla N 1995 Manejo del cultivo intensivo con suelo. In El cultivo del tomate. Ed. F Nuez. pp. 190-225. Mundi-Prensa, Madrid.Google Scholar
  7. Davis K R, Phene C J, McCormick R L, Hutmacher R B and Meek D W 1985 Trickle frequency and installation depth effects on tomatoes. Proc. Third Int. Drip/Trickle Irrigation Congress. pp. 896-901. Fresno, CA.Google Scholar
  8. Doorenbos J and Kassam A H 1986 Yield response to water. FAO, Irrigation and Drainage Paper, 33, Rome.Google Scholar
  9. El-Gindy A M and El-Araby A M 1996 Vegetable crops to response to surface and subsurface drip under calcareous soil. Proc. Int. Conf. on Evapotranspiration and Irrigation Scheduling. pp. 1021-1028. St. Joseph.Google Scholar
  10. Geisenberg C and Stewart K 1986 Field crop management. In The Tomato Crop. Eds. J G Atherton and J Rudich. pp. 527-592. Chapman and Hall, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Grierson D and Kader A A 1986 Fruit ripening and quality. In The Tomato Crop. Eds. J G Atherton and J Rudich. pp. 241-280. Chapman and Hall, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Hamblin A 1985 The influence of soil structure on water movement, crop root growth, and water uptake. Adv. Agron. 38, 95-158.Google Scholar
  13. Hanson B R, Schwankl L J, Schulbach K F and Pettygrove G S 1997 A comparison of furrow, surface drip and subsurface drip irrigation on lettuce yield and applied water. Agric. Water Manage. 33 (23), 139-157.Google Scholar
  14. Hutmacher R B, Vail S S, Muthamia J G, Mwaja V and Liu R C 1985 Effect of trickle irrigation frequency and installation depth on tomato growth and water status. Proc. Third Int. Drip/Trickle Irrigation Congress. pp. 798-803. Fresno, CA.Google Scholar
  15. Machado R M A and Oliveira M R G 2001 The root spatial variability effect on calibration of minirhizotron readings data in processing tomato. Proc. The 6th Symposium of the International Society for Root Research. pp. 538-539. Nagoya, Japan.Google Scholar
  16. Machado R M A, Oliveira M R G and Portas C A M 2000 Effect of drip irrigation and fertilization on tomato rooting patterns. Acta Hort. 537, 313-320.Google Scholar
  17. Maynard D N, Lorenz O A and Magnifico V 1980 Growth and potassium partitioning in tomato. J. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci. 105, 79-82.Google Scholar
  18. Mitchell W H 1981 Subsurface irrigation and fertilization of field corn. Agron. J. 73 (6), 913-916.Google Scholar
  19. Oliveira M R G, Calado A M and Portas C A M 1996 Tomato root distribution under drip irrigation. J. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci. 121(4), 644-648Google Scholar
  20. Oliveira M R G, Van Noordwijk M, Gaze S R, Brouwer G, Bona S, Mosca G and Hairiah K 2000 Auger sampling, ingrowth cores and pinboard methods. In Roots Methods: A handbook. Eds. A L Smit, A G Bengough, C Engles, M Van Noordwijk, S Pellerin and S C Van de Geijn. pp. 175-210. Springer, New York.Google Scholar
  21. Phene C J 1991 Advances in irrigation under water shortage conditions. Proc. Conference on Collaborative Research and Development Applications in Arid Lands. pp. 93-110. Santa Barbara, California.Google Scholar
  22. Phene C J, Bar-Yosef B, Hutmacher R B, Patton S H, Davis K R and McCormick R L 1986 Fertilization of high yielding subsurface trickle irrigated tomatoes. Proc. 34th Annual California Fertilizer Conference. pp. 33-43. Fresno, CA.Google Scholar
  23. Phene C J, Davis K R, Hutmacher R B and McCormick R L 1987 Advantages of subsurface irrigation for processing tomatoes. Acta Hort. 200, 101-113.Google Scholar
  24. Phene C J, Davis K R, Hutmacher R B, Bar-Yosef B, Meek D W and Misaki J 1991 Effect of high frequency surface and subsurface drip irrigation on root distribution of sweet corn. Irrigation Sci. 12 (2), 135-140.Google Scholar
  25. Phene C J, Hutmacher R B, Ayars J E, Davis K R, Mead R M and Schoneman R A 1992 Maximizing water use efficiency with subsurface drip irrigation. International Summer Meeting, Charlotte, 20 p.Google Scholar
  26. Phene C J, McCormick R L, Miyamoto J M, Meek D W and Davis K R 1985 Evapotranspiration and crop coefficient of trickle irrigated tomatoes. Proc. Third Int. Drip/Trickle Irrigation Congress. pp. 823-831. Fresno, CA.Google Scholar
  27. Plaut Z, Carmi A and Grava A 1996 Cotton root and shoot responses to subsurface drip irrigation and partial wetting of the upper soil profile. Irrigation Sci. 16 (3), 107-113.Google Scholar
  28. Portas C A M 1984 Estudos del sistema radical de cultivos horticolas. XXIV Congresso Brasileiro e I Reunião Latino-Americana de Olericultura F.C.A.V. pp. 16-50. Jabotical, Brasil.Google Scholar
  29. Sanders D C, Howell T A, Hile M M S, Hodges L and Phene C J 1989 Tomato root development affected by travelling trickle irrigation rate. HortScience 24(6), 930-933.Google Scholar
  30. Silva W L C, Giordano B, Marqueli WA, Fontes R R and Gornat B 1998 Response of six processing tomato cultivars to subsurface drip fertigation. Acta Hort. 487, 569-573.Google Scholar
  31. Tennant D 1975 A test of a modified line intersect method of estimating root length. J. Ecology. 63, 995-1001.Google Scholar
  32. Underwood A J 1981 Techniques of analysis of variance in experimental marine biology and ecology. Oceonagr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Ver. 19, 513-605.Google Scholar
  33. Upchurch D R 1987 Conversion of minirhizotron-root intersections to root length density. In Minirhizotron Observation Tubes: Methods and Applications for Measuring Rhizosphere Dynamics. Ed. H M Taylor. pp. 51-65. ASA Special Publication 50.Google Scholar
  34. Van Noordwijk M 1993 Roots: length, biomass, production and mortality. Methods for root research. In Tropical Soil and Biology and Fertility, a handbook of methods. Eds. J M Anderson and J S I Ingram. pp. 132-144. CAB International, Wallingford.Google Scholar
  35. Vos J and Groenwold J 1987 The relation between root growth along observation tubes and in bulk soil. In Minirhizotron Observation Tubes: Methods and Applications for Measuring Rhizosphere Dynamics. Ed. H M Taylor. pp. 39-49. ASA Special Publication 50.Google Scholar
  36. West D W, Merrigan I F, Jaylor J A and Collins G M 1979 Salinity gradients and growth of tomato plants under drip irrigation. Soil Sci. 127(5), 281-291.Google Scholar
  37. Zobel W R 1991 Genetic control of root systems. In Plant Root Systems. The hidden half. Eds. YWaisel, A Eshel and U Kafkafi. pp. 27-33. New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rui M.A. Machado
    • 1
  • Maria do Rosário
    • 1
  • G. Oliveira
    • 1
  • Carlos A. M. Portas
    • 2
  1. 1.Depart. de FitotecniaUniversidade de ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal
  2. 2.Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Tapada da AjudaLisboaPortugal

Personalised recommendations