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Distribution of grapevine roots and salt under drip and full-ground cover microjet irrigation systems

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We describe the three dimensional variation in root length density (Lv) within a quarter of the planting area of Colombard grapevines on Ramsey rootstock grown under drip and full-cover microjet irrigation. Under drip irrigation roots were concentrated under the vine row, whereas under microjet irrigation roots were evenly spread across the planting area. The maximum Lv were 1.2 and 0.6 cm/cm3 and the estimated total root lengths per vine were 32 and 26 km for drip and microjet irrigated vines, respectively. Under drip irrigation, 56% of the variation in Lv could be accounted for as a function of depth and radial distance into the row, and under microjet, 45% of the variation in Lv could be accounted for as a function of depth. Twenty five per cent of the vine roots were in soil with an air filled porosity at field capacity of 6% or less. Based on the variation of root length per unit area (La) across a quarter of the planting area and between vines, we concluded that selection of a location at which the La would be representative of that in the entire irrigation unit is feasible in microjet irrigated vines but not in those irrigated with drip. The absence of a location representative of La confounds the scheduling of drip irrigation based solely on measurements of soil moisture.

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Stevens, R.M., Douglas, T. Distribution of grapevine roots and salt under drip and full-ground cover microjet irrigation systems. Irrig Sci 15, 147–152 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00193681

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  • Soil Moisture
  • Unit Area
  • Root Length
  • Radial Distance
  • Irrigation System