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EFFECT OF MULCHES AND COVER CROPS ON WATER STATUS AND GAS EXCHANGE OF COCONUT (Cocos nucifera L.) PALMS IN GRAVELLY SOILS

Authors:

C. S. RANASINGHE ,

COCOS, LK
About C. S.
Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka.
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R. D. N. PREMASIRI,

About R. D. N.
Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka.
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L. R. S. SILVA

About L. R. S.
Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka.
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Abstract

Two field experiments were conducted in gravelly soils (Andigama series) in
Sri Lanka to investigate the effect of different mulches and cover crops,
utilized to conserve soil moisture, on water status, gas exchange and
related soil parameters of coconut palms {Cocos nucifera L. var typica).
The results revealed that mulching only the manure circle was not effective
in improving the palm water status, gas exchange and soil water status
during dry periods in Andigama soil series (gravelly soils). The mulches
tested were coconut husks, coir dust, straw, black polythene and dried
coconut fronds. The palms were equally sensitive to soil water depletion
and responded to the water deficit by increasing the stomatal resistance
irrespective of the mulch treatment. When the manure circle was mulched
with dried coconut fronds, and the rest of the land was also mulched with a
five cm thick layer of coir dust, the palms showed an improved gas
exchange ability than palms growing in bare land or with cover crops during
the dry period.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cocos.v15i0.2179
How to Cite: RANASINGHE, C.S., PREMASIRI, R.D.N. & SILVA, L.R.S., (2010). EFFECT OF MULCHES AND COVER CROPS ON WATER STATUS AND GAS EXCHANGE OF COCONUT (Cocos nucifera L.) PALMS IN GRAVELLY SOILS. COCOS. 15, pp.1–11. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cocos.v15i0.2179
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Published on 12 Aug 2010.
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