Variation characteristics of soil moisture in apple orchards of Luochuan County, Shaanxi Province of Northwest China

WANG Yan-ping; HAN Ming-yu; ZHANG Lin-sen; DANG Yong-jian; QU Jun-tao
March 2012
Yingyong Shengtai Xuebao;Mar2012, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p731
Academic Journal
To have an overall understanding on the soil moisture characteristics in the apple orchards of Luochuan County can not only provide theoretical basis for selecting apple orchard sites, choosing the best root-stock combination, and improving the soil water management, but also has reference importance in increasing the productive efficiency of our apple orchards. In this study, a fixed-point continuous monitoring was conducted on the overall soil moisture environment and the variation characteristics of soil moisture in the County apple orchards differed in age class, stand type, and tree type (standard or dwarfed). For the apple orchards in the County, the rhizosphere (0-200 cm) soils of most apple trees were water-deficient, and the deficit in 0-60 cm soil layer was less than that in 60-200 cm layer. During growth season, the water storage in 0-60 cm soil layer had the same variation trend as the rainfall pattern. The relative soil moisture content in most orchards was less than 60%, and seasonal drought was quite severe. The coefficient of variation of soil moisture content decreased with soil depth. With the increasing age of the orchards, soil water storage decreased. At the same planting density, the orchards with dwarfed trees had more wate storage in 0-5 m soil layer than the orchards with standard trees. However, when the orchards were planted with dwarfed trees at a higher density, the soil water storage in the orchards with dwarfed trees was lesser than that in the standard orchards. The mature orchards on highland had the highest soil moisture content, followed by the mature orchards on flat land, and on terraced land. Tree density had great effects on the soil moisture content. When the tree density was the same, planting dwarfed trees could decrease the water consumption, and increase the soil moisture content significantly. To decrease the planting density through the removal of trees would be an effective way to maintain the soil water balance of apple orchards, and achieve the sustainable development of the orchards.


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