To investigate whether soil clay content, cultivar and seasonal variation have any effect on soil CO2 emission rates and leaf CO2 assimilation rates in a drip-irrigated commercial Citrus sinensis orchard.
The study was carried out in the field as a randomised complete block design in 2x2 factorial consisting of two soil types and two citrus cultivars on a drip-irrigated commercial Citrus sinensis orchards with 2-week interval measurements of soil CO2 emission and leaf gas exchanges over period of a year.
Soil clay content did not influence plant CO2 assimilation rates and soil CO2 emission rates in irrigated citrus. However, seasonal variation significantly influenced both processes. Soil CO2 emission rates were highest in summer and were more than double the rates observed in winter while leaf CO2 assimilation rates were highest in autumn and four times higher than the winter season rates. Mean seasonal soil CO2 emission rates were strongly influenced by mean minimum seasonal temperatures while leaf CO2 assimilation rates only showed a relatively weak relationship with mean maximum seasonal temperatures.
Soil clay content did not influence soil CO2 emission and assimilation rates in drip irrigated irrigated citrus. Citrus CO2 assimilation rate peaks in the autumn while soil CO2 emission rates peak in summer.Snapshot analysis of CO2 sequestration rates suggests that irrigated citrus orchards are net sinks of CO2. Empirically measured CO2 flux rates in a commercial drip-irrigated citrus orchard are presented.