Effects of different irrigation strategies on the evolution of peat hydraulic properties during cultivation
The combined effects of root development and irrigation strategies on the physical and hydraulic properties of peat substrates were studied within a culture of Rosa × hybrida LSQUORadrazzRSQUO during five months when watering was managed in three different ways: (1) water potential always maintained at container capacity, (2) irrigation triggered when water potential reached -10 kPa or (3) -30 kPa. Root volume, total volume, air and water retention properties, saturated hydraulic conductivity, relative gas diffusivity, and wettability were measured at the beginning and then at the end of the experiment. The study showed important changes over time, mainly due to the hydric history, and the irrigation strategies leading to large modifications of pore size distribution and connectivity. Furthermore, the intensity of drying amplified the degradation of peat wettability, and altered the physical qualities of peat. However, positive effects of the root system were shown by limiting the decrease in wettability.
Michel, J.-C. and Kerloch, E. 2017. Effects of different irrigation strategies on the evolution of peat hydraulic properties during cultivation. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1168:207-212
wettability, oxygen diffusivity, pore tortuosity, water retention