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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Using Leaf Gas Exchange to Quantify Drought in Cotton Irrigated Based on Canopy Temperature Measurements

Authors
item Baker, Jeff
item Wanjura, Donald
item Upchurch, Dan

Submitted to: Biological Systems Simulation Group Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 18, 2005
Publication Date: April 22, 2005
Citation: Baker, J.T., Wanjura, D.F., Upchurch, D.R. 2005. Using leaf gas exchange to quantify drought in cotton irrigated based on canopy temperature measurements. Biological Systems Simulation Group Proceedings.

Technical Abstract: Improvements in the efficiency of the use of applied irrigation water are needed in semiarid regions where sources of irrigation water are limited. Canopy temperature (Tc) provides an easy to acquire indicator of crop drought stress that has been used in irrigation scheduling systems. In order to quantify the degree of drought stress and schedule irrigations, the stress-time index method of irrigation scheduling accumulates the amount of time during a day that Tc is above a specified temperature threshold. Our goal was to quantify the degree of drought stress in terms of leaf-level gas exchange parameters for a cotton crop that was subsurface drip irrigated according to the stress-time index method of irrigation scheduling. In this experiment, diurnal measurements of leaf gas exchange were grouped into “Wet” or “Dry” data sets, respectively, depending on whether or not the crop had been irrigated the previous day. At leaf temperatures (TL) near 28ºC, leaf net assimilation (A) and stomatal conductance (g) were reduced by 2 fold and 3 to 5 fold, respectively, in the Dry compared with the Wet data sets. Water use efficiency, calculated as the instantaneous ratio of CO2 uptake to transpirational water loss, was higher in the Dry compared with the Wet data set. The ratio of leaf internal to external CO2 concentration (Ci/Ca) decreased with increasing TL for the Wet data set while the reverse trend was found for the Dry data set. These opposite trends in Ci/Ca may point to different stomatal vs. non-stomatal mechanisms being responsible for the decline in A and g as both drought stress and TL increased. Differences between Wet and Dry data sets in A and g trends across common ranges of TL indicate that Tc alone did not provide a unique and unambiguous measure of the level of drought stress as quantified by leaf-level gas exchange measurements.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014