Special Issue "Irrigation and Water Management in Horticulture"

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2022) | Viewed by 2192

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Antonio Coletta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research Centre for Viticulture and Enology (CREA-VE), 70010 Bari, Italy
Interests: fruit quality; viticulture; fruit crops production; wine chemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

At present, irrigation water availability and savings in its use is one of the main challenges imposed upon us by climate change.

Indeed, different digital models and good practices have been produced regarding irrigation and water management in horticulture, mostly paying attention to rationalizing water use either in fruit or in vegetable cultivation.

The present Issue would like to suggest in a more practical way how water-saving could be achieved starting from the first steps and first decisions that growers have to make in cultivation systems (i.e., rootstocks, soil management, training systems, the choice regarding hydroponics or traditional ground systems for vegetable and fruit growing).

These traditional aspects have indeed been discussed over decades, producing the best solutions that are now in common use. However, climate change is causing changes in the fundamental environmental variables that until now have ruled our agricultural systems. Moreover, climate change predictions show clear increases in temperatures (and concomitant increases in potential evapotranspiration) and more frequent episodes of climatic anomalies, such as droughts and heat waves. Therefore, since fundamental parameters are being modified, a new discussion that takes this into account can no longer be postponed, even for doing the right choices and finding the new right balances.

Moreover, as these topics are at the basis of agricultural systems, it is obvious that great multiplicative effects could be achieved when the correct choices are utilized mostly before that the more technological systems that nowadays are available for growers (satellite imaging, sensors, DSS) are utilized. 

In support of the importance of the factors described above, it should be considered that generally, a sustainability increase involves a cost increase, and this could be an intractable problem for some rural economies which could be unable to take on such a cost. On the contrary, managing soil rootstocks or training systems correctly can favor sustainability, and this this direction is more available in rural economies such as those of emerging countries, giving them an interesting option to move forward in the best economic and sustainable way.

In conclusion, we hope that these arguments have convinced you that fundamental interventions, even simple ones, must always be explored in order to achieve the best results. Therefore, we invite you to contribute your articles to help us to define the best solutions in the soil management rootstocks and training system field to improve the water use and savings in fruit and vegetable production. Also, interesting contribute as regard these topics regarding wine grape cultivation, may also be taken into account.

In this regard, we will equally consider very interesting contributions that deal with the nutraceutical effects on fruit and vegetables linked to the saving of irrigation water use. Finally, focusing on the technical solutions geared towards water saving, research regarding the effects of hydroponic systems will be considered very interesting.

Dr. Antonio Coletta
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Horticulturae is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • WUE
  • water use efficiency
  • water saving
  • fruit
  • rootstocks
  • soil management
  • soil tillage cover cropping
  • training systems
  • antioxidants
  • nutraceuticals
  • hydroponics

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Early-Summer Deficit Irrigation Increases the Dry-Matter Content and Enhances the Quality of Ambrosia™ Apples At- and Post-Harvest
Horticulturae 2022, 8(7), 571; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/horticulturae8070571 - 23 Jun 2022
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Abstract
Ambrosia™ is an apple that naturally has limited post-harvest quality retention, which is accompanied by relatively low dry-matter content (DMC). This trial was proposed to improve the DMC of this apple by scheduling deficit irrigation (DI) conducted in a semi-arid orchard in the [...] Read more.
Ambrosia™ is an apple that naturally has limited post-harvest quality retention, which is accompanied by relatively low dry-matter content (DMC). This trial was proposed to improve the DMC of this apple by scheduling deficit irrigation (DI) conducted in a semi-arid orchard in the Similkameen Valley (British Columbia, Canada) in 2018 and 2019. Two irrigation regimes were implemented in the orchard: commercial irrigation (CI) and DI, which was defined as irrigation for 2/5 of the timespan of CI. Five irrigation treatments were conducted: 1—adequate irrigation (AI), which used CI for the whole season; 2—early-summer DI (ED), which used DI from 20 June to 20 July; 3—middle-summer DI (MD), which used DI from 20 July to 20 August; 4—late-summer DI (LD), which used DI from 20 August to 10 days before harvest; and 5—double-period DI (DD), which covered the interval of MD and LD. The DI treatments resulted in a significant decrease from AI −1.0 to −1.5 MPa in stem water potential (SWP), followed by subsequent recovery. Conversely, SWP did not recover, and instead reached a critical low of −2.5 MPa under continued deficit conditions (DD). This, in turn, correlated with significant differences in the DMC among the treatments. Specifically, ED resulted in a rapid and sustained increase in DMC throughout the summer. At the time of harvest, ED resulted in a five-fold increase in the proportion of fruit, with greater than 16% DMC and 15% DMC in 2018 and 2019, respectively, compared to AI. DD resulted in similar levels of DMC elevation compared to ED, but also caused irregular maturation and the increased incidence of soft scald disorder in the post-harvest period. MD and LD had variable effects on DMC, and also increased the incidence of soft scald disorder. Consequently, fruit collected from the ED resulted in the best blush color attributes, higher soluble solid content, and a significant improvement in the post-harvest retention of both fruit firmness and acidity. The ED irrigation model would be recommended as a practical way for Ambrosia™ growers in semi-arid regions to decrease water usage, and to ensure high fruit quality for superior marketing and sustainable production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Irrigation and Water Management in Horticulture)
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Communication
Use of Thermal Imaging to Assess Water Status in Citrus Plants in Greenhouses
Horticulturae 2021, 7(8), 249; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/horticulturae7080249 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1444
Abstract
The direct examination of plant canopy temperature can assist in optimizing citrus irrigation management in greenhouses. This study aimed to develop a method to measure canopy temperature using thermal imaging in one-year-old citrus plants in a greenhouse to identify plants with water stress [...] Read more.
The direct examination of plant canopy temperature can assist in optimizing citrus irrigation management in greenhouses. This study aimed to develop a method to measure canopy temperature using thermal imaging in one-year-old citrus plants in a greenhouse to identify plants with water stress and verify its potential to be used as a tool to assess citrus water status. The experiment was conducted for 48 days (27 November 2019 to 13 January 2020). We evaluated the influence of five levels of irrigation on two citrus species (‘Red Ruby’ grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) and ‘Valencia’ sweet orange (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck)). Images were taken using a portable thermal camera and analyzed using open-source software. We determined canopy temperature, leaf photosynthesis and transpiration, and plant biomass. The results indicated a positive relationship between the amount of water applied and the temperature response of plants exposed to different water levels. Grapefruit and sweet orange plants that received less water and were submitted to water restrictions showed higher canopy temperatures than the air (up to 6 °C). The thermal images easily identified water-stressed plants. Our proof-of-concept study allowed quickly obtaining the canopy temperature using readily available equipment and can be used as a tool to assess citrus water status in one-year-old citrus plants in greenhouses and perhaps in commercial operations with mature trees in the field after specific experimentation. This technique, coupled with an automated system, can be used for irrigation scheduling. Thus, setting up a limit temperature is necessary to start the irrigation system and set the irrigation time based on the soil water content. To use this process on a large scale, it is necessary to apply an automation routine to process the thermal images in real time and remove the weeds from the background to determine the canopy temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Irrigation and Water Management in Horticulture)
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