MANGO RESPONSE TO DEFICIT IRRIGATION AT DIFFERENT PHENOLOGICAL PERIODS
Throughout Israel, drought and scarce fresh water resources endanger the sustainability of irrigated agriculture. Scientific knowledge regarding water deficit irrigation at different phenological periods in mango trees, and the consequences for fruit quantity and quality, is very limited. The effect of four irrigation levels (100 [control], 125, 75 and 50%) at three different phenological periods (1 fruit set to pit hardening; 2 pit hardening to harvesting; 3 postharvest) was tested on Keitt in the Jordan Valley in Israel. Although this research was initiated in June 2010, the 2011 production year was chosen as a representative year for this paper. In the first phenological period, irrigation level did not affect the number of fruit or average fruit size per tree, however number of fruits per tree tended to increase with increasing irrigation. This trend was not observed for fruit size (weight), however average fruit size and the fruit size distribution tended to decrease with increasing irrigation. In the second phenological period, the number of fruit increased slightly (non-significant) with increasing irrigation, but in contrast to the first phenological period, average fruit size and fruit size distribution also increased at higher irrigation levels. In the postharvest irrigation treatments (2011), average fruit size was significantly higher by 30% at 125% irrigation compared to 50% irrigation, however the 8% increase in number of fruits was not significant. Similarly, irrigation treatments did not affect number of new flushes or flush length. Inflorescence length (as a proxy for inflorescence age) and number were significantly greater in the two deficit irrigation treatments compared to 125% irrigation. These results reflect an earlier onset of flowering in the deficit irrigation treatments compared to the well-irrigated ones. Our results show that the postharvest phenological period is the most sensitive to water stress and has the largest impact on both quantity, and in particular, quality (fruit weight) of fruit production under Israeli growing conditions (sub-tropical).
Levin, A.G., Naor, A., Noy, M., Love, C., Gal, Y. and Peres, M. (2015). MANGO RESPONSE TO DEFICIT IRRIGATION AT DIFFERENT PHENOLOGICAL PERIODS. Acta Hortic. 1075, 103-113
flowering, fruit size, number of fruits, vegetative growth, yield