Using infrared canopy temperature and leaf water potential for irrigation scheduling in peppermint (Mentha piperita L.) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bg257j08x

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  • Several methods of infering plant water stress for irrigation scheduling are based upon measurements of the environment in which the plants grow. These measurements include parameters such as soil water content, air temperature, pan evaporation and incident radiation. It is hypothesized that improved estimates of plant water deficit can be obtained by direct measurements made on the plants. The main objective of this study was to test the performance of measurements of canopy temperature and leaf water potential for irrigation scheduling. This study seeks to establish whether a correlation exists between these monitoring methods and measurements of soil moisture content, leaf area, and evapotranspiration. The experiments were conducted in first-year peppermint irrigated at five different rates. Canopy and air temperatures were measured with a hand-held infrared thermometer. Leaf water potential was measured with a pressure bomb. A non-stressed baseline for the difference between canopy temperature and air temperature using data from well-watered plants was used together with the vapor pressure deficit to determine the crop water stress index (CWSI). The results of this study show that the CWSI is well correlated to evapotranspiration deficit and is useful for irrigation scheduling. The relationship between leaf area yield and CWSI in peppermint was described by a quadratic function. Leaf water potential varied during the day in such a way that it was not possible to establish a relationship with water stress, differences in soil moisture content, or different irrigation levels. Leaf water potential was influenced by the daily weather conditions and represented the current demand more than the cumulative demand. The results of this study indicate that mid-day pressure bomb measurements cannot be used in irrigation scheduling. Predawn measurements of leaf water potential were stable, were well correlated with the different irrigation levels and soil moisture content, and therefore may be useful in irrigation scheduling.
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