An Investigation on Physiological and Photosynthetic Parameters of Forage Maize at Regulated Deficit Irrigation and Partial Root Zone Draying Methods

Document Type : Research Article


1 Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University

2 Sari Agricultural and Natural Resources University

3 Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center of Khorasan Razavi


Introduction: Water shortage is the most important factor affecting crop production in the world. The deficit irrigation is a way to reduce water consumption in farming. The Partial Root- zone Drying (PRD) irrigation is a new improvement in deficit irrigation in which the half of the root zone is irrigated alternatively in scheduled irrigation events. In the fixed partial root zone drying (FPRD) the irrigation is fixed to one side of the root zone in the growing season. Maize is a drought sensitive crop. In maize, secondary traits related to drought resistance are considered in producing tolerate cultivars.
Materials and Methods: An experiment was conducted in order to investigate the effects of regulated deficit irrigation, variable partial root zone drying (PRD) and fixed partial root zone drying (FPRD) on the yield, physiological and photosynthetic parameters of forage maize (KSC 704) during the growing seasons of 2014 in Mashhad region. A factorial experiment based on randomized complete block design with four replications was carried out. The treatments included the full irrigation (FI) and the deficit irrigations (regulated deficit irrigation (DI) and the replacements of 80 % (DI80) and 60 % (DI60) of total water requirement, fixed PRD (FPRD) at 100% (FPRD100), 80% (FPRD80) and 60%(FPRD60) of water requirement, and variable PRD at 100% (PRD100), 80% (PRD80) and 60% (PRD60) of water requirement). Drip irrigation tapes were placed between plant rows. In the full irrigation and regulated deficit irrigation treatments, the plants were irrigated from two sides for every irrigation. In the PRD, one of two neighboring tapes was alternatively used for irrigation. In FPRD, a drip tape was used for two plant rows and irrigation was fixed to one side of the root. The irrigation interval was 3 days for all treatments. Dry and fresh forage yield, leaf area index (LAI), stomatal conductance, leaf relative water content (RWC) and chlorophyll content were measured.
Results and Discussions: All the measured traits were affected by the deficit irrigation. The highest fresh forage yield (72099 kg/ha) was produced by the full irrigation treatment. The statistical comparison showed that there was no significant difference between regulated deficit irrigation and PRD method for the fresh forage yield. But the FPRD treatment reduced the fresh forage yield. There was no significant difference between the fresh forage yield of FI and PRD80 treatments. The dry forage yield was affected by the different irrigation methods, irrigation levels and the interaction effects of the treatments (p


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