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Partial root drying : a sustainable irrigation system for efficient water use without reducing fruit yield


We plan to improve the efficiency of water use for Mediterranean agriculture through sustainable approaches via an investigation of the effects of partial root drying on the vegetative and reproductive growth of a range of fruit crops. Irrigation down one side of a row of plants allows soil drying around roots on the other side. If the wetting zone is alternated from one side of the row to the other then some roots of plants are always in contact with drying soil. This technique will be used to control vegetative vigour, save irrigation water and reduce fertiliser use without influencing fruit yield and quality. We will assess the possibility of adding low concentrations of fertilisers to irrigation water in this system to increase fertiliser use efficiency. We plan to develop a better physiological understanding of the mechanisms controlling carbon allocation to fruit as a basis for developing approaches to the optimisation of irrigation.
1. Data sets on the effects of PRD on growth;
2. Data set on relative importance of chemical and hydraulic signals;
3. Data set on water balance of plants under PRD Procedure for fertigation under PRD;
4. Data set on water relations and solute relations;
5. First year report;
6. Data set on the effects of PRD on growth;
7. Data set on the role of ABA and ethylene in signalling;
8. Data set on the role of other chemical signals and the control of growth of vegetative plant parts;
9. Data set of water use efficiency of plants under PRD;
10. Recommendations for fertigation for a range of crops;
11. Evaluation of PRD on wall properties of growing fruit;
12. Recommendations on physiological indicators of quality;
13. Second year report;
14. Papers reporting full evaluation of PRD;
15. Recommendations on the use of PRD for growers;
16. Papers reporting full evaluation of mechanisms of action of PRD in the regulation of growth and yield;
17. Model for irrigation scheduling;
18. Papers on irrigation scheduling;
19. Recommendations for growers;
20. Evaluation of the environmental impact of fertigation under PRD;
21. Software programme for fertigation under PRD Papers and recommendations on fertigation for growers;
22. Papers on effects of PRD on fruit quality indicators;
23. Final biological report and socioeconomic report on PRD in Mediterranean region.


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LA1 4YQ Lancaster

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