GIS based soil suitability evaluation for fig orchards in Southern Peloponnese, Greece
The production of dried figs in Southern Peloponnese represents more than a half of the total Greek production and is projected to increase. Fig orchards are dispersed throughout the region, typically being family-owned, small and fragmented holdings. This structure of production does not facilitate an integrated management approach for cultivation and production. In order to assist fig orchard holders in the production of higher yields and better quality of dried figs, a GIS based soil suitability evaluation of the orchards was developed. The physical and chemical characteristics of the soil of 45 fig orchards were considered. Dried fig production volumes from 2011 to 2014 determined the distribution of the sampling sites. Saturation percentage (SP), pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC), organic matter, particle size analysis (sand, silt, clay), and the concentration of the exchangeable cations (Ca, Mg, K) and available P were measured. The laboratory findings of the soil analysis were each referenced as single GIS-based maps and associated with levels of soil suitability. Soil suitability was expressed on a five-point scale from a range of highly suitable (5) to non-suitable (1). The overall digital map, which will also be available as a mobile application, acts as a dynamic platform of displaying, combining and evaluating which soil conditions can lead to better yields and quality. Further relevant geo-environmental data can also be added in the future, constructing the map as a precise prediction tool for new plantings or agronomic applications.
Kotsiras, A., Amorgianiotis, T., Tsiavtari, E., Antonopoulos, D.F. and Demopoulos, V. 2017. GIS based soil suitability evaluation for fig orchards in Southern Peloponnese, Greece. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1173:207-212
Ficus carica, soil, physicochemical properties, digital mapping