Application of time-lapse ERT to Characterize Soil-Water-Disease Interactions of Citrus Orchard – Case Study
Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Vidarbha region in Maharashtra, India (home for mandarin Orange) experience severe climatic uncertainties resulting in crop failure. Phytopthora are the soil-borne fungal species that accumulate in the presence of moisture, and attack the root / trunk system of Orange trees at any stage. A scientific understanding of soil-moisture-disease relations within the active root zone under different climatic, irrigation, and crop cycle conditions can help in practicing management activities for improved crop yield. In this study, we developed a protocol for performing 3-D time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) at micro scale resolution to monitor the changes in resistivity distribution within the root zone of Orange trees. A total of 40 electrodes, forming a grid of 3.5 m x 2 m around each Orange tree were used in ERT survey with gradient and Wenner configurations. A laboratory test on un-disturbed soil samples of the region was performed to plot the variation of electrical conductivity with saturation. Curve fitting techniques were applied to get the modified Archie’s model parameters. The calibrated model was further applied to generate the 3-D soil moisture profiles of the study area. The point estimates of soil moisture were validated using TDR probe measurements at 3 different depths (10, 20, and 40 cm) near to the root zone. In order to understand the effect of soil-water relations on plant-disease relations, we performed ERT analysis at two locations, one at healthy and other at Phytopthora affected Orange tree during the crop cycle, under dry and irrigated conditions. The degree to which an Orange tree is affected by Phytopthora under each condition is evaluated using ‘grading scale’ approach following visual inspection of the canopy features. Spatial-temporal distribution of moisture profiles is co-related with grading scales to comment on the effect of climatic and irrigation scenarios on the degree and intensity of crop disease caused by Phytopthora.