IMPACT OF IRRIGATION FREQUENCIES ON THE INSTALLATION AND THE PRODUCTION OF TWO FORMS OF OPUNTIA FICUS-INDICA
In order to overcome rangeland degradation and to diversify fodder shrub plantations in an arid sub-Saharan ecosystem in the southeast of Morocco, a field study was conducted to examine the impact of three irrigation frequencies combined to the number of cladodes planted (two cladodes (R2), three (R3) cladodes) on the installation, growth and production of two cactus forms (Opuntia ficus-indica f. inermis and Opuntia ficus-indica f. amycleae). The tested frequencies are 12 (C3), 6 (C2) and 2 times per year (C1). These given frequencies have been maintained during one year, then reduced to half during the second year and finally stopped during the third year. Results showed that the survival rate was 98%, so not significant for all treatments. The statistical results for the growth in height were very highly significant during the first and the second year for the factor of irrigation frequency. The difference between the C2-C3 frequencies and the C1 frequency in height growth reached its summit after 23 months with 12 cm of difference. But, after stopping the frequencies and the favourable climatic conditions that followed, the C1 frequency took up the delay registered compared to other frequencies which resulted in no significant differences at the end of the trial. The lateral growth recorded the same tendency observed for the growth in height. On the other hand, we did not record differences of growth between the inermis cactus and the spiny cactus. We also noted that the spineless cactus produces more cladodes (55.34±17.8) than the armed cactus (42.18±13.6), what also implies that the phytomass produced by the inermis cactus is bigger (10.46% of difference). Finally, all the measured parameters were influenced by the number of cladodes planted, the more cladodes we planted at the beginning, the better are the registered performances (R3>R2).
Homrani Bakali, A. (2013). IMPACT OF IRRIGATION FREQUENCIES ON THE INSTALLATION AND THE PRODUCTION OF TWO FORMS OF OPUNTIA FICUS-INDICA . Acta Hortic. 995, 145-156
prickly pear, irrigation frequencies, rangeland rehabilitation, installation, growth, production