Study of Changes in Soil Moisture and Salinity Under PlasticMulch and Drip Irrigation in Pistachio Trees

Document Type: Research Article


1 Department of Agriculture, International Campus Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Water Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Iranian pistachio Research Institute, Rafsanjan, Iran


In this study, changes in soil moisture and salinity contents in drip irrigation combined with white and black plastic mulches compared to no mulch (control) was evaluated. The experiment was carried out in two commercial pistachio orchards (Ohadi cultivar) with irrigation frequencies of 8 to 12 days with a total water consumption 4100 and 6170 m3ha−1. The study was conducted in a complete randomized block design with three replicates from 2014-2015. Results showed that plastic mulches significantly affected the studied parameters, such as dry yield and water use productivity (WUP). The WUP in plastic mulch treatments increased from 36% to 100% compared to the control. On the other hand, soil moisture content in plastic mulches were up to 12% higher than control in irrigation intervals in both orchards. Moisture content equations between two consecutive irrigations obtained in depth of the maximum root development (25 to 75cm). Proper irrigation frequency in pistachio trees with sandy loam to loamy sand soil was determined based on the derived equations and PWP and RAW in soil experimental plots. The frequency was six to eight days in the case of no mulch, and in the use of plastic mulch, it was 11 to 15 days. The results showed that the use of plastic mulch decreased the soil surface salinity from 30.8% to 51.8% compared to the control. The amount of water consumption, irrigation frequency, soil texture and sampling points affected the soil surface salinity. The average salinity of 0-120cm soil depth was reduced from 20.4% to 27.7% compared to the no mulch treatment. The mulch color did not have a significant effect on any of the parameters.


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