oa Agrochemophysica - Lysimetric determination of citrus tree evapotranspiration

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0302-7112



The construction of a weighing lysimeter for the measurement of water use of a citrus tree under representative orchard conditions is descriptionbed. The fully-installed lysimeter, based on a load-cell application, has a mass of nearly 50 tons. Lack of sufficient precision and also excessive sensitivity to external factors, mainly on the part of the recording section of the system, prevent measurement of daily evapotranspiration to consistently better than within about 2 mm of water. The accumulated evapotranspiration over longer periods was, however, relatively free of error. Notwithstanding this rather disappointing lack of short-term precision, results obtained over nineteen months of operation have yielded convincing information on water use of a citrus tree under Sundays River Valley conditions. When related to Class A pan evaporation, and subjected to careful interpretation, the data may provide a useful guide to irrigation requirements of citrus in that area. The economy of construction of the lysimeter has left much room for improving future installations. Furthermore, the demonstration of the potential of lysimetric techniques in citrus water relations research provided by the present investigation supports the construction of additional, more precise lysimeters.

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