Knowledge of plant performance under reduced irrigation has the potential to reduce drastically the amounts of the applied container irrigation water, but there is still a lack of information about growth and eco-physiological behaviour relative to potted ornamentals grown under limited water availability. Australian ornamental plants show many positive characteristics, such as unusual flower shapes and colours and the presence of species interesting as potted plants and landscaping. Therefore, the main objective of this work was to study the response to water stress conditions by evaluating bio-morphological parameters (plant height and diameter, number of shoots and leaves, leaf area, total fresh and dry weights, dry matter content) of two Australian ornamental shrubs. This research was carried out, under Mediterranean conditions in an iron glasshouse, from March to May 2006 in the experimental field of the Faculty of Agriculture of Bari (Italy), on Eremophila glabra (R. Br) Ostenf and E. nivea Chinnock. Container–grown plants were irrigated with a drip-system: the compared water regimes planned the restitution of 100% (control: optimal regime), 50% and 0% (reduced regimes: stress) of the evapo-transpired water, determined by differential weightings at intervals of six days, in conditions of full water satisfaction. Survival rate was higher in E. glabra (100%) than in E. nivea (64%); the two species show significant differences in all the studied parameters. The response of E. nivea and E. glabra to water stress has not been the same. The visual appearance was more affected, however, in E. nivea than in E. glabra. On the whole, the obtained results suggest that E. glabra could be considered a useful potted species in landscaping and xerogardening, due to its tolerance to severe water stress. Irrigation values close to 50% of ET0 would be enough to maintain the ornamental values of plants: in this way, a considerable saving in water could be promoted, which is one of the most important negative environmental factors for plant productivity under Mediterranean conditions.

Response of potted Australian ornamental plants to different soil water conditions

DE LUCIA, Barbara
2009

Abstract

Knowledge of plant performance under reduced irrigation has the potential to reduce drastically the amounts of the applied container irrigation water, but there is still a lack of information about growth and eco-physiological behaviour relative to potted ornamentals grown under limited water availability. Australian ornamental plants show many positive characteristics, such as unusual flower shapes and colours and the presence of species interesting as potted plants and landscaping. Therefore, the main objective of this work was to study the response to water stress conditions by evaluating bio-morphological parameters (plant height and diameter, number of shoots and leaves, leaf area, total fresh and dry weights, dry matter content) of two Australian ornamental shrubs. This research was carried out, under Mediterranean conditions in an iron glasshouse, from March to May 2006 in the experimental field of the Faculty of Agriculture of Bari (Italy), on Eremophila glabra (R. Br) Ostenf and E. nivea Chinnock. Container–grown plants were irrigated with a drip-system: the compared water regimes planned the restitution of 100% (control: optimal regime), 50% and 0% (reduced regimes: stress) of the evapo-transpired water, determined by differential weightings at intervals of six days, in conditions of full water satisfaction. Survival rate was higher in E. glabra (100%) than in E. nivea (64%); the two species show significant differences in all the studied parameters. The response of E. nivea and E. glabra to water stress has not been the same. The visual appearance was more affected, however, in E. nivea than in E. glabra. On the whole, the obtained results suggest that E. glabra could be considered a useful potted species in landscaping and xerogardening, due to its tolerance to severe water stress. Irrigation values close to 50% of ET0 would be enough to maintain the ornamental values of plants: in this way, a considerable saving in water could be promoted, which is one of the most important negative environmental factors for plant productivity under Mediterranean conditions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/21227
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