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Mathias Neumann Andersen

Tomato Yield and Water Use Efficiency - Coupling Effects between Growth Stage Specific Soil Water Deficits

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To investigate the sensitivity of tomato yield and water use efficiency (WUE) to soil water content at different growth stages, the central composite rotatable design (CCRD) was employed in a five-factor-five-level pot experiment under regulated deficit irrigation. Two regression models concerning the effects of stage-specific soil water content on tomato yield and WUE were established. The results showed that the lowest available soil water (ASW) content (around 28%) during vegetative growth stage (here denoted θ1) resulted in high yield and WUE. Moderate (around 69% ASW) during blooming and fruit setting stage (θ2), and the highest ASW (around 92%) during early fruit growth stage (θ3), fruit development (θ4) and fruit maturity (θ5) contributed positively to tomato yield, whereas high WUE was achieved at lower θ2 and θ3 ( around 44% ASW) and higher θ4 and θ5 (around 76% ASW). The strongest coupling effects of ASW in two growth stages were between θ2 and θ5, θ3. In both cases a moderate θ2 was a precondition for maximum yield response to increasing θ5 and θ3. Sensitivity analysis revealed that yield was most sensitive to soil water content at fruit maturity (θ5). Numerical inspection of the regression model showed that the maximum yield, 1166 g per plant, was obtained by the combination of θ1 (c. 28% ASW), θ2 (c. 82% ASW), θ3 (c. 92% ASW), θ4 (c. 92% ASW), and θ5 (c. 92% ASW). This result may guide irrigation scheduling to achieve higher tomato yield and WUE based on specific soil water contents at different growth stages.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B - Soil & Plant Science
Pages (from-to)460-469
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • tomato, central composite rotatable design, growth stage, yield, WUE

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