Canopy-cooling systems applied on avocado trees to mitigate heatwaves damages

Silit Lazare, Helena Vitoshkin, Victor Alchanatis, Guy Reshef, Dafna Ziv, Eli Simenski, Arnon Dag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

With climate change, spring heatwaves have become frequent in the Mediterranean region. High temperatures combined with wind and low humidity are problematic for subtropical crops adapted to high humidity and mild climate. Avocado is a valuable crop—nutritionally and economically—and many new orchards are planted in Mediterranean areas. Spring heatwaves increase avocado fruitlets dropping, severely decreasing yields. Addressing and solving the problem are necessary to maintain the crop's profitability. This study presents a sprinkler-based canopy cooling method that uses the existing pressurized irrigation system. The study aimed to test the system's performance during spring heatwaves, after the flowering season, in avocado orchards cultivated in a semi-arid region. The experiments examined the effect of various sprinkler types with varying flow rates and installation methods: sprayers, sprinklers and pulsing sprinklers, on foliage temperature, stem water potential, salt accumulation in the leaf, fruitlet survival and yield. The system reduced leaf temperatures by approximately 10 °C, significantly decreasing the trees' drought stress and increasing yields by 8–12%. Using low-quality water is possible, but requires adjustments to avoid salt damage to the leaves. The system can mitigate heat stress, and provides a relatively simple solution for handling spring heatwaves. The evaporative cooling system is modeled for semi-desert and desert conditions; the dry, windy climate contributes to the method's effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12563
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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