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Citrus Yield Response and Irrigation Water Use Efficiency under Partial Root Drying Irrigation in a Pilot Exploitation in the Triffa Plain (Eastern Morocco)
Maryam Slamini 1  
,   Mohamed Sbaa 1  
,   Mourad Arabi 1  
,   Ahmed Darmous 1  
,   Driss Bouknana 2  
 
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1
Laboratory for Improvement of Agricultural Production, Biotechnology and Environment (LAPABE). Faculty of Science, Mohammed Premier University, PB 717, 60000, BV M6, Oujda, Morocco
2
Laboratory of Applied Chemistry and Environment (LCAE), Faculty of Science, Mohammed Premier University, PB 717, 60000, BV M6, Oujda, Morocco
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Maryam Slamini   

Laboratory for Improvement of Agricultural Production, Biotechnology and Environment (LAPABE). Faculty of Science, Mohammed Premier University, PB 717, 60000, BV M6, Oujda, Morocco
Publication date: 2022-01-01
 
Ecol. Eng. Environ. Technol. 2022; 1:178–191
 
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ABSTRACT
In our experiment we have studied the effects of partial root-zone drying (PRD) on plant physiological response, plant soil water dynamics, yield and fruit quality of mature clementine trees (Citrus clementine) during the irrigation seasons 2017 and 2018 in an orchard located in Triffa plain (north-east Morocco). Two irrigation treatments were applied : (i) Full irrigation where trees were irrigated with enough water to replace 100% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc), and (ii) alternate partial root-zone drying (PRD) with trees irrigated at 75% ETc (applied on one side of the root-zone while the other side was kept dry, alternating the sides every week). Results show that PRD at 75 % of crop water demand (ETc) decreased the fruit yield by 17% in 2017 and 7 % in 2018 compared with the Full irrigation treatment and did not induce significant loss of crop yield. The PRD irrigation treatment, induces not only a reduction of the wetted soil volumes and transpiration rate, but also represented the highest Irrigation Water Use Efficiency (IWUE) with an increase of 11 and 21 % for 2017 and 2018 respectively. Both fruit size and fruit weight decrease significantly in PRD treatment by 12-10% and 11- 12% compared to Full irrigation respectively for 2017 and 2018. Titrable acidity (TA) and total soluble solids percentage (TSS) increased significantly in PRD fruit by 9-11% and 1.2- 1.4% respectively for 2017 and 2018. Juice percentage decreased significantly in the first year for PRD treatment by 6% whereas in 2018 the PRD fruit had the highest juice percentage with significant difference of 3% compared to Full irrigation statically significant. Results show clear difference of rooting between irrigation strategies with an increase of the root number by the PRD treatment.