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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Soil Moisture and Soil Temperature Changes with the Use of Black Vapor-Barrier Mulch and Their Influence on Pineapple (Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.) Growth in Hawaii1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 2, p. 270-275
    Received: July 1, 1966
    Accepted: Nov 28, 1966

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  1. Paul C. Ekern2



As the mulching practice in pineapple culture in Hawaii has developed over the last 50 years, a number of functions have been assigned to the action of the mulch. This study gives primary consideration to the effect of soil moisture and soil temperature changes upon pineapple growth. Soil moisture changes were determined from field samplings and lysimeter studies at Wahiawa, Oahu. Changes in the soil moisture budget with the mulch were so slight that the variability of field sampling precluded assessment without excessive replication. Coefficients of variability for samples taken at the plant butt were 3 to 5% of a moisture constant (e.g., 15-bar point) for a soil series or within a single field. Moisture use, measured by semicontained hydraulic lysimeters, was reduced by the mulch when the soil was very wet but changed little when the soil moisture ranged from field capacity (0.15-bar) to the 15-bar point.

The mulch raised the average soil temperature about 1.6C during the winter. The measured one-third increase in the plant growth was nearly identical with the increase calculated from the growth-response of pineapple to temperature.

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