Project Number: 2032-13220-002-020-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 1, 2023
End Date: Dec 31, 2025
Research personnel will be hired to evaluate technology to measure whole orchard and tree evapotranspiration (ET) and stress estimated with ground-based and remotely sensed data. The incumbent will also work to evaluate genotype responses to drought and heat stress. Work will involve both laboratory and field work conducted at various orchard sites associated with the Transportation Expansion Project (T-REX) and oil olive projects and will be coordinated between collaborating UC Davis and USDA labs. This will complement ongoing efforts with Grape Remote sensing Atmospheric Profile and Evapotranspiration eXperiment (GRAPEX).
Hired personnel will work closely with existing laboratory staff of Sustainable Agricultural Water Systems (SAWS) Unit and Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit (CPGRU) on ongoing field and lab based projects to better link leaf level measurements of stress physiology with those from ground-based and remotely sensed sensors. Traditional leaf level measurements are labor intensive and represent point measures on single plants. Sensor technology can provide better coverage of large acreage and spatial resolution to trigger timing of irrigation events, but require fine tuning for different crops and contextualization for California climatic conditions. UC Davis and USDA-ARS collaborators will design experiments to improve the effectiveness of hyperspectral stress indices to changes in the physiological stress condition of olives and other woody perennial plants, which will be measured with gas exchange, fluorescence, water relations, spectroscopy, and other in situ sensing systems. Given the importance of supplemental irrigation for mitigating heat waves, the team will also evaluate heat stress responses of various commercial olive genotypes including work in partnership with the National Clonal Germplasm Repository.