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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of the Effect of Irrigation on Biometric Growth, Physiological Response, and Essential Oil of Mentha spicata (L.)

1
Department of Agriculture, Environment, and Food Sciences, University of Molise, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
2
Department of Sciences and Engineering of Biosystems (DCEB) and Research Center Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food (LEAF), Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), Universidade de Lisboa (ULisboa), Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(11), 2264; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112264
Received: 8 October 2019 / Revised: 24 October 2019 / Accepted: 25 October 2019 / Published: 28 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evapotranspiration and Plant Irrigation Strategies)
A field experiment was performed on spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) under different irrigation regimes in a hilly area of Southern Italy. Objectives of the study include evaluating the physiological and biometrical response of mint from plant establishment up to its complete maturation, as well as the yield composition in essential oil at two different dates. Increasing levels of water stress affected later developing leaves and plant’s water status and net photosynthesis (from the beginning of stress (DAT 63), while affecting negatively the biometric response very soon and significantly from 35 DAT. Photosynthesis limitation played a critical role from DAT 53 on, namely later, in the harvest period (DAT 35–70). Under severe water stress, crop restricted water losses by modulating stomatal closure and, at harvest, showing lowered mesophyll conductance. Irrigation treatments did not affect the concentration of organic compounds, while the yield of essential oils was negatively affected by water stress due to reduced crop growth, in terms of total and leaf biomass, leaf area index (LAI) and crop height. View Full-Text
Keywords: aromatic; balsamic; irrigation; photosynthesis; spearmint; water stress; water balance aromatic; balsamic; irrigation; photosynthesis; spearmint; water stress; water balance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marino, S.; Ahmad, U.; Ferreira, M.I.; Alvino, A. Evaluation of the Effect of Irrigation on Biometric Growth, Physiological Response, and Essential Oil of Mentha spicata (L.). Water 2019, 11, 2264.

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