Comparative effects of partial root-zone irrigation and deficit irrigation on phosphorus uptake in tomato plants

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The comparative effects of partial root-zone irrigation (PRI) and deficit irrigation (DI) on phosphorus (P) uptake in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) plants were investigated in a split-root pot experiment. The results showed that PRI treatment improved water-use efficiency (WUE) compared to the DI treatment. PRI-treated plants accumulated significantly higher amounts of P in their shoots than DI plants under organic maize straw N fertilisation, whereas similar levels of shoot P accumulation were observed under mineral N fertilisation. Thus, the form of N fertiliser, and thereby the different plant N status, affected the accumulation of P in shoots, as reflected by a higher plant N:P ratio following mineral N fertilisation than after organic N fertilisation. Compared to the DI treatment, PRI significantly increased both the physiological and agronomic efficiencies of P-use under mineral N fertilisation, while similar physiological and agronomic P-use efficiencies were found between the two irrigation treatments with organic N fertilisation. PRI-induced drying and wetting processes might have influenced the bio-availability of soil P, as the concentrations of bio-available P in both bulk and rhizosphere soils were increased compared with the DI treatment under both forms of N fertilisation. It is suggested that a relatively high soil water content in the wet zone of the PRI treatment should be maintained in order to facilitate nutrient (i.e., N and P) transport from the bulk soil to the root surface, thereby enhancing nutrient uptake by the roots.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)600-604
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Research areas

  • Irrigation - Deficit irrigation, Partial root-zone drying irrigation, Phosphorus, Nitrogen fertilisation

ID: 42025660