Deficit irrigation and emerging fruit crops as a strategy to save water in Mediterranean semiarid agrosystems

A Galindo*, J. Collado-González, I. Griñán, M. Corell, A. Centeno, M.J. Martín-Palomo, I.F. Girón, P. Rodríguez, Z.N. Cruz, H. Memmi, A.A. Carbonell-Barrachina, F. Hernández, A. Torrecillas, A. Moriana, D. Pérez-López

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)
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Water scarcity in Mediterranean climate areas will be progressively aggravated by climate change, population increase and urban, tourism and industrial activities. To protect water resources and their integrity for future use and to improve biodiversity, besides following advanced deficit irrigation strategies in fruit cultivation, attention could well be directed towards what are at present underused plant materials able to withstand deficit irrigation with minimum impact on yield and fruit quality. To this end, the state of the art as regards deficit irrigation strategies and the response of some very interesting emerging fruit crops [jujube (Zizyphus jujuba Mill.), loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.), pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) and pomegranate (Punica granatum L.)] are reviewed. The strengths and weaknesses of deficit irrigation strategies and the mechanisms developed by these emerging fruit crops in the face of water stress are discussed. The response of these crops to deficit irrigation, with special attention paid to the effect on yield but also on fruit quality and health-related chemical compounds, was analysed in order to assess their suitability for saving water in Mediterranean semiarid agrosystems and to analyze their potential role as alternatives to currently cultivated fruit crops with higher water requirements. Finally, the factors involved in establishing an identity brand (hydroSOS) to protect fruits obtained under specific DI conditions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-324
JournalAgricultural water management
Early online date6 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


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