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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo
Print version ISSN 0100-0683
CINTRA, Fernando Luis Dultra; RESENDE, Ronaldo Souza; LEAL, Maria de Lourdes da Silva and PORTELA, Jeane Cruz. Effect of irrigation supply on the water regime of a hardsetting tableland soil and on coconut yield. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2009, vol.33, n.4, pp. 1041-1051. ISSN 0100-0683. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832009000400028.
The origin of tableland soils is related to sandloam and loam sediments of the Tertiary Barreira group. Generally they are sandy with poor contents of nutrients and organic matter. They are also typically kaolinitic and characterized by hard cohesive layers (hardsetting soils) normally located at a depth between 20 and 60 cm. Since the soil density of the hardsetting layers is high and because they are near the surface, they remarkably modify the soil water movement and affect plant development and yields. This study aimed to assess the effect of different irrigation water levels on the water movement and distribution in a Kandic Ustult hardsetting soil of coastal tablelands of Brazil and their influence on the yield of green dwarf coconut. Three levels of irrigation water were investigated: 50, 100 and 150 L d-1 in a completely randomized design with six replications and one tree per plot. The bunch and fruit number per tree versus the coconut water volume were also studied based on the same experimental design, but with four replications and nine trees per plot. The soil moisture was monitored by TDR probes, based on weekly readings of sensors at depths of 0.15, 0.30, 0.60, 0.90, and 1.20 m. It was concluded that application of 100 and 150 L d-1 water resulted in a reduction of the density of the hard layer, unlike when a supply of 50 L d-1. The mean fruit yield per tree and the coconut water volume per fruit were the highest at 150 L d-1 irrigation. However, none of the treatments caused an inflection on the response curve of the yield variables, which increased with the tested water supply levels.
Keywords : coastal tableland; green dwarf coconut; TDR probe.