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Open AccessArticle

Cultivar Dependent Impact on Yield and Its Components of Young Almond Trees under Sustained-Deficit Irrigation in Semi-Arid Environments

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Instituto Andaluz de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera (IFAPA), Centro “Las Torres”, Carretera Sevilla-Cazalla Km 12.2, 41200 Sevilla, Alcalá del Río, Spain
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Instituto Andaluz de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera (IFAPA), Centro “Camino de Purchil”, Camino de Purchil s/n, 18004 Granada, Spain
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Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Sevilla, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Avda. Reina Mercedes 10, 41012 Sevilla, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(5), 733; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10050733
Received: 9 April 2020 / Revised: 8 May 2020 / Accepted: 18 May 2020 / Published: 20 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimizing Plant Water Use Efficiency for a Sustainable Environment)
Almond (Prunus dulcis Mill. (D.A. Webb)) plantations in irrigated semi-arid areas need to successfully face the new scenarios of climate change combining sustainable irrigation strategies and tolerant cultivars to water stress. This work examines the response of young almond (cvs. Guara, Marta, and Lauranne) subjected to different irrigation doses under semi-arid conditions (South-West Spain). The trial was conducted during two seasons (2018–2019) with three irrigation strategies: A full-irrigated treatment (FI), which received 100% of the irrigation requirements (IR), and two sustained-deficit irrigation strategies that received 75% (SDI75) and 65% (SDI65) of IR. Crop water status was assessed by leaf water potential (Ψleaf) and stomatal conductance (gs) measurements, determining the yield response at the end of each season. Different physiological responses for the studied cultivars were observed, especially considering the Ψleaf measurements. In this way, cv. Marta behaved more tolerant, while cvs. Guara and Lauranne maintained higher gs rates in response to water stress. These differences were also observed in terms of yield. The cv. Lauranne did not reflect yield losses, and the opposite trend was observed for cv. Guara, in which reductions on fruit numbers per tree were detected. On overall, effective irrigation water savings (≈2100 m3·ha−1 in SDI65) could be feasible, although these responses are going to be substantially different, depending on the used cultivar. View Full-Text
Keywords: almond cultivars; crop physiological response; irrigation water productivity; nut yield almond cultivars; crop physiological response; irrigation water productivity; nut yield
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Gutiérrez-Gordillo, S.; Durán Zuazo, V.H.; Hernández-Santana, V.; Ferrera Gil, F.; García Escalera, A.; Amores-Agüera, J.J.; García-Tejero, I.F. Cultivar Dependent Impact on Yield and Its Components of Young Almond Trees under Sustained-Deficit Irrigation in Semi-Arid Environments. Agronomy 2020, 10, 733.

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