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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 74 No. 3, p. 551-555
    Received: Feb 9, 1981

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Physiological Response of Chile Pepper to Trickle Irrigation1

  1. R. Horton,
  2. F. Beese and
  3. P. J. Wierenga2



The present field studies were conducted to examine the response of chile pepper (Capsicum annuum L., var. New Mexico No. 6-4) during one irrigation cycle, to different deficit trickle irrigation treatments.

After applying four different water rates for 46 days, detailed measurements were made, over a 3-day period between two irrigations, of the water content, the soil-water pressure potential, the osmotic potential of the soil solution, the leaf water potential, and the stomatal resistance. Crop evapotranspiration was estimated from water balance measurements, and hourly potential evaporation, ET0, was calculated using meteorological information.

There were four water treatments, consisting of a control treatment and three treatments receiving 80, 120 and 140% of the water applied to the control. There were considerable differences in water transpired from the different treatments, but only slight differences in plant water potentials and stomatal resistances. At any time the differences in plant water potential and stomatal resistances were less than 2 bars and 1 sec/cm, respectively. Chile appeared to adapt to the soil water supply by controlling its size. The plants in the dryer irrigation treatments displayed less leaf area, fewer leaves per plant and less aboveground dry mass production. Because of the large differences in plant size associated with relatively small differences in measurements of the plant water status of chile, it appears inadvisable to depend upon pressure chamber, or diffusion porometer measurements for irrigation scheduling of trickle irrigated chile.

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