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Responses of Tea (Camellia sinensis) to Irrigation and Fertilizer. II. water Use

  • William Stephens (a1) and M. K. V. Carr (a1)

Summary

The water use of clonal tea (Clone 6/8) in a line-source irrigation × nitrogen experiment in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania was monitored with a neutron probe during 1987 and 1988 to a depth of 3 m and 1989 to a depth of 5 m. The results for 1989 were used to calibrate a single layer water balance model which was then used to estimate water use for the preceding 1986, 1987 and 1988 dry seasons. In the model evapotranspiration was reduced linearly when the soil water deficit exceeded a critical value of 60 mm. The model predicted water use well for unirrigated, partially irrigated and fully irrigated treatments. Total extractable water was 330 to 350 mm in the 5.5 m deep root zone and estimated annual water use in 1988/89 ranged from 800 mm for unirrigated to 1200 mm for fully irrigated plots, of which about 400 mm was used in the wet season from December to April. Water use efficiencies were between 1 to 4 kg of made tea ha−1 mm−1, increasing with improving water and nutrient status. The slope (b) of the relation between the relative yield loss and the relative reduction in water use was very steep (b = 1.3) reflecting the sensitivity of shoot growth and yield of this clone to water stress.

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Responses of Tea (Camellia sinensis) to Irrigation and Fertilizer. II. water Use

  • William Stephens (a1) and M. K. V. Carr (a1)

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