Above and below ground development of Acacia saligna shrubs grown under different irrigation frequencies in an arid environment

Walter Zegada-Lizarazu, Emilo Garcia-Apaza, Jhonathan Ephrath, Pedro Berliner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Scopus citations


    Many arid and semiarid areas of the world remain barren due to the lack of water even though the use of ephemeral local water sources, such as runoff water, could change the biomass production patterns. The objective of the present study was to determine the effects of levels of water application and modes of application on the biomass below and above ground development of mature Acacia saligna (Labill.) H.L. Wendl. shrubs. The application treatments were: flooded once a year, low and high frequency irrigation with and without an additional annual flooding, and well-watered. An analysis of the standing biomass data after 5 years of growth indicated that the yearly runoff floods contributed significantly to increase the total above ground biomass. The data collected during the 1999 season, indicated however that during this season flooding had no significant effect on any of the measured growth parameters, while application frequency had a significant effect on the growth rates, water use efficiency and leaf and stem production of shrubs. Below ground, two periods of root growth were observed for the higher irrigation frequency treatments: an initial moderate increase followed by a rapid reduction. The period of rapid reduction in root biomass matched well with the period of rapid increments in above ground biomass production. Furthermore, increased irrigation frequencies resulted in bigger root systems but for lower irrigation frequencies rooting depth increased.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)157-169
    Number of pages13
    JournalPlant and Soil
    Issue number1-2
    StatePublished - 1 Aug 2007


    • Biometric relations
    • Carbohydrate partitioning
    • Relative growth rate
    • Root water uptake efficiency
    • Runoff irrigation
    • Water use efficiency

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Soil Science
    • Plant Science


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