Improving water use efficiency and biomass in maize, foxtail millet, and bitter vetch by wick irrigation
Keywords:capillary movement, drought, surface irrigation, water use efficiency, wick irrigation
Water is one of the most important environmental factors in agriculture. Drought annually damages agricultural products. This loss can be reduced by some strategies. Pot and field experiments were conducted to assess the effect of wick irrigation on growth, yield and water use efficiency of maize, foxtail millet, and bitter vetch. Irrigation treatments included wick and surface irrigation (control) methods. Results of the pot experiment showed that wick irrigation had higher total fresh weight, total dry weight, and water use efficiency as compared to surface irrigation in both foxtail millet and bitter vetch. In foxtail millet, wick irrigation also had higher leaf to stem ratio, plant height, leaf relative water content and leaf area compared to surface irrigation. Results of the field experiment showed that wick irrigation increased specific leaf weight, water use efficiency, stem diameter, leaf fresh weight, total fresh weight, leaf dry weight, total dry weight, and leaf to stem ratio, but had similar fresh and dry stem weight and plant height compared to surface irrigation in maize. It is likely that the reduction in surface evaporation, reduced water consumption, and increased dry matter resulted in increased water use efficiency in wick irrigation. Overall, wick irrigation had higher water use efficiency, biomass, and plant growth compared to surface irrigation in maize, foxtail millet and bitter vetch.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Hassan Heidari, Zhaleh Zarei, Kazhal Mohammadi
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