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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2016)

An Examination of whole tree-effects of irrigation-induced soil salinity on Olive (Olea europaea cv. Barnea

Beiersdorf, Ian M

Titre : An Examination of whole tree-effects of irrigation-induced soil salinity on Olive (Olea europaea cv. Barnea)

Auteur : Beiersdorf, Ian M

Etablissement de soutenance : Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2016

Résumé
Olive trees are an economically important crop in the Mediterranean region, yielding 98% of the world’s olive oil production. Irrigating these trees has increased production of olive oil, but has often led to increased soil salinization due to utilization of brackish water or irrigation water with dissolved salts. Results quantifying the impact of salinity on yield and oil quality are scarce and inconsistent. Furthermore, in olive studies there has been no distinction made between the two sources of salinity ; irrigation water salinity and salinity resulting from amount of leaching. This experiment provides a whole-tree assessment on the impacts of controlled levels of irrigation water salinity and leaching fraction salinity on mature, fruit bearing olive trees with the goal of quantifying the specific impacts on growth, physiological response, fruit yield, and olive oil quality. Lysimeters were utilized for an accurate, daily calculation of evapotranspiration (ET) on an individual tree basis from April 2013 to November 2015. Twenty-eight ‘Barnea’ olive trees were divided into two experiments ; a leaching fraction (irrigation divided by ET or I/ET) experiment, and an irrigation water salinity (ECi) experiment. The I/ET experiment contained trees receiving a constant concentration of irrigation water salinity of 4.5 dS/m, with variable I/ET of 100, 120, 140, 160, and 180 % of the daily ET. The ECi experiment involved trees receiving a constant I/ET of 140 % and variable irrigation water salinity of 0.5, 2.5, 4.5, 7.5, 10.5 dS/m. Irrigation and drainage water was sampled weekly to determine treatment efficacy. Soil and vegetative sampling was conducted periodically for mineral analysis. Monthly circumference measurements tracked growth and influence of salinity over time. Flowering and reproductive organs were sampled to examine the effect of salinity on reproduction. Physiological measurements were conducted to investigate salinity influence on photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and stem water potential. Yield and olive oil quantity and quality were also measured. Data, when appropriate, were expressed in units of root zone and time averaged saturated pasted electrical conductivity (ECe , dS/m). Data were then used to fit the van Genuchten equation for reduction of transpiration due to salinity. In addition, the experiment was simulated using an analytical solution (ANSWER model) to predict plant response to soil water and salinity conditions.

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