Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Patterns of water withdrawal beneath an irrigated peach orchard on a red-brown earth

  • 32 Accesses

  • 9 Citations


Water withdrawal from the soil beneath an irrigated peach orchard is described over depth and time after irrigation for a red-brown earth where the hydraulic properties vary with depth. Relationships between water uptake by roots, root concentration and soil-water suction were explored over protracted drying cycles. In the early stages of drying water uptake by roots was well correlated with root concentration over the profile but, over time, water uptake was redistributed over the root system. Theoretical analysis suggests that poor utilization of water from depth on this soil was associated mainly with low root concentrations and low root (radial) conductance. Practical considerations for improved water management in the root zone of peach orchards on shallow soils are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.


  1. Chalmers DJ, Olsson KA, Jones TR (1983) Peach trees and orchards. In: Kozlowski TT (ed) Water deficits and plant growth, Vol. 7. Academic Press, New York, p 197

  2. Cockroft B (1964) Physical properties of some Victorian Soils. Tech Bull Dept Agric Victoria, No. 18

  3. Cockroft B, Olsson KA (1972) Pattern of new root production in peach trees under irrigation. Aust J Agric Res 23:1021

  4. Cockroft B, Wallbrink JC (1966) Root distribution of orchard trees. Aust J Agric Res 17:49

  5. Cox EF (1966) Resistance to Water Flow through the Plant, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Nottingham, Nottingham

  6. Gardner WR (1960) Dynamic aspects of water availability to plants. Soil Sci 89:63

  7. Greacen EL (1977) Mechanisms and models of water transfer. In: Russell JS, Greacen EL (eds) Soil factors in crop production in a semi-arid environment. University of Queensland Press, Aust Soc Soil Sci Inc, p 163

  8. Hansen GK (1974) Resistance to water transport in soil and young wheat plants. Acta Agric Scand 24:37

  9. Harley JL, Scott Russell R (eds) (1979). The Soil-Root Interface. Academic Press, New York

  10. Levin I, Bravdo B, Assaf R (1973). Relation between apple root distribution and soil water extraction in different irrigation regimes. In: Hadas A, Swartzendruber D, Rijtema PE, Fuchs M, Yaron B (eds) Physical aspects of soil water and salts in ecosystems. Chapman-Hall, London, p 351

  11. Marshall TJ (1958) A relation between permeability and size distribution of pores. J Soil Sci 9:1

  12. Milthorpe FL, Moorby J (1979) An Introduction to Crop Physiology, 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  13. Newman EI (1969) Resistance to water flow in soil and plant. I. Soil resistance in relation to amounts of root: theoretical estimates. J Appl Ecol 6:1

  14. Olsson KA (1977) Physical aspects of the water relations of an irrigated peach orchard. Ph.D. Thesis, Macquarie University, Sydney

  15. Olsson KA, Milthorpe FL (1983) Diurnal and spatial variation in leaf-water potential and leaf conductance of irrigated peach trees. Aust J Plant Physiol 10:291

  16. Olsson KA, Rose CW (1978) Hydraulic properties of a red-brown earth determined from in situ measurements. Aust J Soil Res 16:169

  17. Olsson KA, Wilson IB (1979) Soil management for high productivity in an irrigated peach orchard. In: Proceedings of Irrigation Efficiency Seminar. Int Comm Irrig Drainage, Sydney, 15–17 May 1979, p 273

  18. Ramos C, Kaufmann MR (1979) Hydraulic resistance of rough lemon roots. Physiol Plant 45:311

  19. Rose CW, Stern WR (1967) Determination of water withdrawal from soil by crop roots as a function of depth and time. Aust J Soil Res 5:11

  20. Skene JKM, Poutsma TJ (1962) Soils and land use in part of the Goulburn Valley, Victoria. Tech Bull Dept Agric Victoria, No. 14

  21. Stace HCT, Hubble GD, Brewer R, Northcote KH, Sleeman JR, Mulcahy MJ, Hallsworth EG (1968) A Handbook of Australian Soils. Rellim, Adelaide, p 770

  22. Taylor HM, Klepper B (1975) Water uptake by cotton root systems: an examination of assumptions in the single-root model. Soil Sci 120:57

  23. Taylor HM, Klepper B (1978) The role of rooting characteristics in the supply of water to plants. Adv Agron 30:99

  24. Tisdall JM, Olsson KA, Willoughby P (1984) Soil structural management and production in a non-cultivated peach orchard. Soil Tillage Res 4:165

  25. Veihmeyer FJ, Hendrickson AH (1938) Soil moisture as an indication of root distribution in deciduous orchards. Plant Physiol 13:169

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Olsson, K.A., Rose, C.W. Patterns of water withdrawal beneath an irrigated peach orchard on a red-brown earth. Irrig Sci 9, 89–104 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00262353

Download citation


  • Water Management
  • Water Pollution
  • Root System
  • Theoretical Analysis
  • Water Uptake