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Response of Plant Water Potential to the Irrigated Environment of Southern Idaho

Cary, J.W. and Wright, J.L. (1971) Response of Plant Water Potential to the Irrigated Environment of Southern Idaho. Agronomy Journal. 63(5):691-695.

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Laboratory studies have shown that plant water potential
affects a number of key processes involved in
growth, but there has been almost no information on
what levels of water potential occur under irrigated conditions
in the field. Before assessing the practical implication
of laboratory results on soil and crop management,
this type of information must be available. Consequently,
plant water potential in irrigated crops of
Zea mays, Triticum aestivum, Hordeum vulgaris, Phaseolus
vulgaris, Pisum sativum, Solanum tuberosum, Beta
vulgaris, and Medicago sativa, L. was measured throughout
the growing season in southern Idaho. Soil moisture
conditions and potential evapotranspiration were monitored.
Daily changes in plant water potential varied from
less than 5 bars to more than 20 bars, while random sampling
of supposedly homogeneous sets of plants showed
an average variation of about 2 bars. Changes due to
differences in soil moisture were also detected, even
though the soil moisture potential was kept high enough
for near-optimum crop production. Though the crops
differed widely in their response to changes in environment,
the plant water potential was strongly affected by
microclimatic conditions. Day-to-day changes in plant
water potential generally correlated more closely with
changes in potential evapotranspiration than with
changes in soil moisture content. Many of the daily
changes observed in the plants remain unexplained, however.
In general, the average water potential levels of all
the field-grown plants were lower than levels reported
from growth chamber studies. Potentials seldom rose
above —8 bars and were never observed above —5 bars.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0166
Subjects: Mass Import - unclassified
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:50
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 23:14
Item ID: 92