The setting up of innovative irrigation water management might contribute to the mitigation of negative issues related to climate change. Our hypothesis was that globe artichoke irrigated with a traditionally drip system could be converted to an innovative water management system based on precision irrigation techniques and on evaporative cooling application in order to improve crop physiological status with positive impacts on earliness, total heads yield and water saving. Over two experiments carried out at plot- and field-scale, two irrigation management systems, differing in type and application time, were compared: (i) conventional, and (ii) canopy-cooling. Plant physiological status at a weekly sampling interval and the head atrophy incidence (as the ratio of the total primary heads collected) were monitored. We also recorded and determined heads production, and yield components. In both experiments, throughout the application period of evaporative cooling (three months), canopy-cooling showed the lowest value of leaf temperature and the highest photosynthesis values compared with the conventional one (+3 °C and −30%, respectively). The physiological advantage gained by the crop with evaporative cooling has led to a higher production both in terms of total yield (+30%), and in terms of harvested first order heads that from an economic viewpoint are the most profitable for farmers. At farm-scale, the canopy-cooling treatment resulted in a higher earliness (35 days) and water productivity (+36%) compared with conventional one. Our findings show that by combining evaporative cooling practice with precision irrigation technique the heads yield can be optimized also leading to a relevant water saving (−34%). Moreover, the study proved that canopy-cooling set up might be a winning strategy in order to mitigate climatic changes and heat stress conditions.

Climate change adaptation and water saving by innovative irrigation management applied on open field globe artichoke

Ledda, Luigi
2019

Abstract

The setting up of innovative irrigation water management might contribute to the mitigation of negative issues related to climate change. Our hypothesis was that globe artichoke irrigated with a traditionally drip system could be converted to an innovative water management system based on precision irrigation techniques and on evaporative cooling application in order to improve crop physiological status with positive impacts on earliness, total heads yield and water saving. Over two experiments carried out at plot- and field-scale, two irrigation management systems, differing in type and application time, were compared: (i) conventional, and (ii) canopy-cooling. Plant physiological status at a weekly sampling interval and the head atrophy incidence (as the ratio of the total primary heads collected) were monitored. We also recorded and determined heads production, and yield components. In both experiments, throughout the application period of evaporative cooling (three months), canopy-cooling showed the lowest value of leaf temperature and the highest photosynthesis values compared with the conventional one (+3 °C and −30%, respectively). The physiological advantage gained by the crop with evaporative cooling has led to a higher production both in terms of total yield (+30%), and in terms of harvested first order heads that from an economic viewpoint are the most profitable for farmers. At farm-scale, the canopy-cooling treatment resulted in a higher earliness (35 days) and water productivity (+36%) compared with conventional one. Our findings show that by combining evaporative cooling practice with precision irrigation technique the heads yield can be optimized also leading to a relevant water saving (−34%). Moreover, the study proved that canopy-cooling set up might be a winning strategy in order to mitigate climatic changes and heat stress conditions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11566/286492
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