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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1130: XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): International Symposia on the Physiology of Perennial Fruit Crops and Production Systems and Mechanisation, Precision Horticulture and Robotics

Combined effect of restricted irrigation and potassium on yield and quality of apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.)

Authors:   M. Ben Mimoun, M. Marchand
Keywords:   mineral nutrition, weight, quality, soluble sugar, leaf analysis
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1130.78
Abstract:
In Tunisia, water scarcity is the major problem for horticulture production. Less than 7% of total agriculture area can be irrigated and in most cases with bad water quality. For these reasons, improving irrigation efficiency is an important challenge. Potassium is considered as a major element responsible for fruit quality but also for reducing drought effect on plants. The objective of this research was to study the combined effect of potassium and irrigation treatments on apricot yield and quality. Two irrigation treatments (100 and 50% ETc) and three potassium nutrition rates (50, 100 and 200% of tree requirement) were assessed in an apricot orchard of 'Ouerdi' in North Tunisia for two years. Yield and fruit weight were not affected by water stress. However potassium mineral nutrition enhanced them. The fruit quality was affected by both factors showing higher soluble solids content with higher potassium fertilization rate and deficit irrigation. No effect of irrigation and potassium treatment was observed on nitrogen and phosphorus leaf mineral content. Leaf potassium mineral content increased with higher rate of potassium fertilization.

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