DETERMINATION OF EVAPOTRANSPIRATION AND CROP COEFFICIENT OF CACTUS PEAR (OPUNTIA FICUS-INDICA MILL.) WITH AN ENERGY BALANCE TECHNIQUE
A micrometeorological approach based on surface renewal technique was adopted to estimate evapotranspiration fluxes and crop coefficient data from an irrigated cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill.) orchard under Mediterranean climatic conditions. High-frequency temperature readings were taken above the canopy top in order to get surface renewal sensible heat flux values (HSR). These values were compared against eddy covariance sensible heat fluxes (HEC) for calibration. Latent heat flux (or evapotranspiration, ET) was obtained as the residual of the energy balance equation using HSR. In field measurements of biophysical crop features, physiological characteristic and soil hydraulic components were integrated with the analysis of the surface energy fluxes. Microlysimeters were used to compute evaporation rates, allowing the separation of transpiration from ET data. During the irrigation season, evapotranspiration from the cactus pear orchard was 330 mm of water producing 16,210 kg of dry matter ha-1 for a biomass water productivity: WPb = kg biomass m-2 per kg H2O m-2 = 6.6×10-3. The water use efficiency (WUE) was 204 kg H2O kg-1 dry matter. The low value of WPb, relative to other CAM plants, suggests an opportunity to improve the use of irrigation water.
Consoli, S., Inglese, P. and Inglese, G. (2013). DETERMINATION OF EVAPOTRANSPIRATION AND CROP COEFFICIENT OF CACTUS PEAR (OPUNTIA FICUS-INDICA MILL.) WITH AN ENERGY BALANCE TECHNIQUE. Acta Hortic. 995, 117-124
irrigation management, micrometeorology, semi-arid climate, surface renewal, water use efficiency