Water potential in peach branches as a function of soil water storage and evaporative demand of the atmosphere

<div><p>Abstract The use of water potential indicators in the plant has been adopted in irrigation management, in recent years, since it is accepted that the plant is the best indicator of its own water status. The objective of this study was to verify the relationship between water potential in peach tree branches and the evaporative demand of the atmosphere and the water availability in two textural classes of an Aquertic Hapludalf soil, aiming to adopt irrigation management strategies based on the water potential in the plant. Research was carried out in a commercial peach orchard, cv. Esmeralda, in the municipality of Morro Redondo-Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil. Four peach tree rows were evaluated, being two irrigated and two non irrigated. The irrigation management was based on the replacement of the potential crop evapotranspiration. It was concluded that the water potential in the peach tree branch is positively related with the evaporative demand of the atmosphere and negatively related with soil water storage. Future studies should adopt irrigation management strategies for peach trees based on the water potential mainly for the irrigation management of post-harvest peach trees.</p></div>