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Transpiration characteristics of banana leaves cultivar williams in response to progressive depletion of available soil moisture



Transpiration characteristics of banana leaves cultivar williams in response to progressive depletion of available soil moisture



Scientia Horticulturae (Amsterdam) 30(4): 289-300



Young parent-crop banana plants (cultivar 'Williams') were subjected to two soil moisture potential (SMP) regimes, namely, continuous field capacity and progressive depletion of total available soil moisture (TAM). Experiments were conducted in a fibreglass tunnel under mild or enhanced conditions of vapour pressure deficit (VPD), and also in the field during summer. Transpiration rates, stomatal resistance, photosynthetically-active radiation and leaf temperature were measured simultaneously with a steady-state porometer, according to a developed technique which minimised natural sources of error. Under mild conditions of VPD (.+-.5 hPa) plants responded slowly to soil drying, and at a SMP of -82 kPa, transpiration was reduced by 27% compared to fully-irrigated plants. Under enhanced VPD (15-20 hPa), plants responded rapidly to soil drying, and at a SMP of -75 kPa transpiration was reduced by 73%. In the field, reduction of transpiration in response to SMP at high VPD followed a similar pattern to the covered experiment. At a SMP of -46 kPa the reduction in transpiration rate was 41% in the late afternoon at high VPD, but the following morning transpiration rates of the two treatments were similar due to lower VPD and overnight re-establishment of turgor. At -525 kPa SMP, reduction of transpiration was 70% and plants could not regain turgor overnight. Stomatal conductance seemed more sensitive to water stress than transpiration, but leaf temperature only differentiated advanced levels of stress (.+-.2.degree.C difference between stressed and non-stressed leaves). These results hold important implications for irrigation scheduling of bananas. Initiation of stress occurred at a SMP of around -20 to -25 kPa which occurred at a 20% depletion of TAM, thus necessitating a summer irrigation frequency of daily or every 2 days.

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Accession: 006830437

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DOI: 10.1016/0304-4238(87)90003-3


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