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Enabling better global research outcomes in soil, plant & environmental monitoring.

Sap Flow in an Olive Tree

Olive trees in Italy were placed under an experimental treatment of irrigation and non-irrigation (rain fed). Tree water use was monitored with SFM1 Sap Flow Meters using the Heat Ratio Method.

 

The SFM1 Sap Flow Meter is commonly used to assess the effects of an irrigation and non-irrigation treatment on plant water use. This is a common application in horticulture and viticulture. The SFM1 Sap Flow Meter can be used to measure total crop water use in order to determine how much irrigation a crop actually requires. Alternatively, the SFM1 Sap Flow Meter can be used to assess the response of crops to irrigation.

Ms. Kanako Nitta and Dr. Koji Inosako, of Tottori University, Japan, and Dr. Mladen Todorovic, of CIHEAM, Italy were interested in the response of olive trees, growing in an orchard in Italy, to irrigation. The olive trees were placed under an experimental treatment of irrigation and non-irrigation (rain-fed). Tree water use was monitored with SFM1 Sap Flow Meters using the Heat Ratio Method.

SFM1 and Olives

Figure 1 shows the results of approximately 6 weeks of sap flow monitoring. The blue line is heat velocity of the irrigated tree and the red line is heat velocity of the non-irrigated tree. The irrigated tree has far higher water use than the non-irrigated tree. There were two irrigation events over this monitoring period. Following irrigation, the olive tree had a spike in sap flow followed by a steady decline over subsequent days.

These results demonstrate that this olive tree is highly responsive to irrigation and that trees growing in this orchard are water-limited. The results also show that the SFM1 Sap Flow Meter can be used to differentiate irrigated and non-irrigated treatments.

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