Effects of Nursery Irrigation on Postplanting Root Dynamics of Lotus creticus in Semiarid Field Conditions

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  • 1 Área de Producción Vegetal, Departamento de Producción Agraria, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Paseo Alfonso XIII, 52, 30203 Cartagena, Spain
  • | 2 Unidad de I+D Hortofrutícola, CIDA, Conserjería de Medio Ambiente, Agricultura y Agua, Región de Murcia, 30150 La Alberca (Murcia), Spain
  • | 3 Departamento de Riego y Salinidad, Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CSIC), Campus Universitario de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia, Spain

The influence of two irrigation treatments during nursery production on the post-transplant development of Lotus creticus subsp. cytisoides was studied. The treatments lasted 96 days and consisted of irrigating 2 days/week with a total of 2.3 L of water per plant over the whole nursery period (T-2) or irrigating six days per week with a total of 7 L of water per plant (T-6). T-2 plants had greater root length: shoot length ratio and higher percentage of brown roots, an indicator of more resistance to post-transplant stress. Minirhizotrons revealed more active root growth in the surface soil of the T-2 plants, although the plants of both treatments rapidly colonized the whole soil depth studied (0-160 cm deep). T-2 plants had greater stem length growth per unit of soil area covered.

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