Next Article in Journal
Blue Water Footprint Management in a UK Poultry Supply Chain under Environmental Regulatory Constraints
Previous Article in Journal
Towards a Smart City: Development and Application of an Improved Integrated Environmental Monitoring System
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 624; doi:10.3390/su10030624

Contrasting Urban Landscapes and Reduced Irrigation Engender Water Conservation in a Desert Environment

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 30003, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan
Agricultural Biometric Service, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3486 KB, uploaded 28 February 2018]   |  


With increased interest in water conservation, traditional residential landscapes, which often include turfgrass and other high-water use plants, are often eliminated in favor of low water use desert landscape plants. But even with a desert landscape, home owners often overwater, thereby reducing any water conservation possibility. This experiment was designed to demonstrate that plants can retain physiological health even when on reduced irrigation. Three 26.8-m2 plots each of two contrasting landscapes, designated as either traditional or desert, were installed in a desert environment using a pot-in-pot in-ground system. Plots were irrigated at 100% or 50% of evapotranspiration (ET) with either sprinklers (turf) or drip emitters (trees and shrubs) using a modified crossover design. Midday stem water potentials (Ψmd) for Arizona ash, Indian hawthorn and Cleveland sage exhibited seasonal differences. In Chinese pistache, Ψmd remained stable when irrigation treatments were lowered from late spring/early summer (−0.26 MPa) to late summer (−0.35 MPa). Chinese pistache maintained less negative osmotic potential when irrigation increased from 50% ET (−5.13 MPa) to 100% ET (−3.68 MPa) in early fall. The ability of Chinese pistache to maintain Ψmd and osmotic potential may indicate this species’ resilience to drought. Surprisingly, Arizona ash sustained greater relative water content in late fall when irrigated at 50% ET (92% elative water content (RWC)) than when irrigated at 100% ET (76% RWC) and this might be due to osmotic adjustment. The plants used in this study recovered after two weeks of full (100% ET) irrigation suggesting that landscape managers could irrigate at 50% ET for a limited period (approx. four weeks) as a way to conserve water. View Full-Text
Keywords: arid regions; crossover design; drought adaptation; water relations arid regions; crossover design; drought adaptation; water relations

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Frietze, V.D.; Gioannini, R.; Al-Ajlouni, M.G.; VanLeeuwen, D.M.; Hilaire, R.S. Contrasting Urban Landscapes and Reduced Irrigation Engender Water Conservation in a Desert Environment. Sustainability 2018, 10, 624.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top