SM Geodim 

SMART Methodology in IRRIWELL European project

Thursday, November 4, 2021

The main goal of IRRIWELL is to test the implementation of a novel approach to estimate water requirements of fruit trees based on stomatal conductance with the aid of plant sensors and mechanistic physiological models, and facilitate the implementation of a decision support system by small farmers.

Stomatal conductance is a key parameter to assess water consumption in trees but also a unique mean to bridge the carbon and water cycles and therefore, to link water consumption to production. Automatic estimation of stomatal conductance can be achieved combining adequate plant sensors (turgor-related or sap flow) with mechanistic models. Stomatal conductance is used for two purposes: together with plant leaf area to estimate water consumption and to decide the optimal irrigation amount, including the application of the deficit irrigation strategy, based on its tight correlation with photosynthesis. Still, a second issue must be solved: sensors will be limited to a few trees and we need to handle heterogeneity in the orchard. This will be addressed by the use of GIS web platforms with remote sensing data, which also will be used to estimate the seasonal leaf area index.

The main goal is to make it operational and ready to be implemented in a wide range of fruit tree species and growing conditions. Once developed and tested its acceptance by end-users will be analyzed, including the cost limitations. The required technology is already in a mature stage of development, including a preliminary test of the stomatal conductance approach, the WebGIS platform and a low-cost sensor at its industrial stage of development.



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