Potential Uses and Water Demand of Pigeonpeas in Mixed Intensive Horticultural Systems in Dry-subtropical Northwest Mexico

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  • 1 Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas del Noroeste, S.C. Apdo, Postal 128, La Paz, BCS, Mexico 23000

A water demand model based on the plant–water–climate interactions is proposed to establish the effects of the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) on the water demand processes of a crop. It is shown that a relationship exists between PAR, leaf temperature, and the transpiration of regional ecotypes of Northwest Mexico from Asia in the middle of the century. These ecotypes were found in the influence area of the Sierra de La Laguna, B.C.S., Biosphere Reserve. Estimated relationship was backed by measurements of leaf and ambient temperatures, and PAR, of which the transpiration is dependent. It is concluded that this procedure is useful to establish the expected level of transpiration of pigeonpeas and thus, their water requirements. The observed phenotype characteristics suggest the usefulness of pigeonpeas in intensive ecosystems; grain yield was near 6 Mg·ha–1. The results enable us to design appropriate horticultural systems in the villages of Sierra de La Laguna, which could include understorey horticultural species and pigeonpeas, a low-inputs crop.

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