Responses of a plant to soil-moisture changes as shown by guayule
AuthorsF. J. Veihmeyer
A. H. Hendrickson
Authors AffiliationsF. J. Veihmeyer was Professor of Irrigation and Irrigation Engineer, Emeritus, Davis; A. H. Hendrickson was Pomologist, Emeritus, in the Experiment Station, Davis.
Hilgardia 30(20):621-637. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v30n20p621. May 1961.
From March, 1943, to April, 1946, field and tank studies on responses of guayule to different soil-moisture conditions were conducted at Davis, California.
Three types of treatment were begun in the spring of the second season: irrigation when the soil moisture in the top 3 feet was reduced to about 14 per cent; irrigation when the soil moisture was reduced to about the permanent wilting percentage (PWP); and no irrigation.
Results from the final sampling of the field plots when the crop was harvested showed clearly that the irrigated treatments produced larger plants than the unirrigated plots which were allowed to remain at the PWP for a long period. In rubber content, the lowest percentage was found in the treatment where the soil moisture was kept relatively high. The treatment in which the soil moisture was reduced to a much lower level several times during the season produced slightly, but not significantly, larger plants and a significantly higher percentage of rubber than did the treatment in which a relatively high moisture content was maintained. All treatments increased markedly in percentage of rubber during the winter. The unirrigated treatment produced the highest rubber content of all.
Results in the tank tests were in agreement with those in the field. The largest plants were produced in the tanks in which the soil moisture was allowed to be reduced to about the PWP, but not to remain there for an appreciable time. Maintenance of the moisture above a high level by frequent irrigations did not increase the growth of plants over those in the drier soil.
The data presented indicate that soil moisture between the field capacity and the PWP is readily available to guayule plants.
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