Deficit irrigation as a strategy to control growth in ornamental plants and enhance their ability to adapt to drought conditions

  • M. J. Sánchez-Blanco /
  • M. F. Ortuño /
  • S. Bañon /
  • S. álvarez
Journal re
Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology
  • Volumen: 94
  • Número: 2
  • Fecha: 04 March 2019
  • Páginas: 137-150
  • ISSN: 14620316
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1080/14620316.2019.1570353
  • Document Type: Review
  • Publisher: Taylor and Francis
© 2019, © 2019 The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology Trust.The shortage of water in many parts of the world has led to the development of new irrigation strategies such as regulated deficit irrigation and sustained deficit irrigation. Water deficit induces different morphological and physiological responses in ornamental plants, but the application of irrigation strategies can obtain quality plants well adapted to the environment. Deficit irrigation controls plant growth, and can be considered a sustainable technique which avoids the use of plant growth regulators. In addition, root system morphology can be modified by water stress to improve the ability to extract water from the soil and strengthen a plant¿s physical support. In addition, the application of deficit irrigation during nursery period is a technique frequently used to harden plants before transplanting. Water deficit affects morphological and physiological aspects that might provide a capacity to adapt to adverse conditions. All these features contribute to increasing water use efficiency and the root to shoot ratio and root density, promoting the more rapid establishment of ornamental plants in garden or landscape settings. In view of the results obtained, it is possible to apply and validate the most appropriate irrigation strategy for each species and to obtain the full benefits of applying deficit irrigation. Abbreviations: DI, Deficit irrigation; ETc, Crop evapotranspiration; gs, stomatal conductance; Pn, Net photosynthesis; RDI, Regulated deficit irrigation; SLA, Specific leaf area; WUE, Water use efficiency.

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