Transpiration efficiencies of maize and beans in semi-arid Kenya

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Date
1995
Authors
Pilbeam,C.J.
Simmonds,L.P.
Kavilu,A.W.
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Abstract
Maize and bean were grown under varying levels of nitrogen fertilizer, plant population, and irrigation at Kiboko, Kenya in the short rains 1990, 1991, 1992 and the long rains 1991. The production of dry matter was not affected significantly by any treatment, because treatments only had a small impact on the balance between evaporation and transpiration. In all seasons the greatest loss of water from the profile was through direct evaporation from the soil surface. Transpiration was always less than 25% of rainfall. The ratio of transpiration (T) to evapo transpiration (E + T) was small (0.23), but increased from 0.15 to 0040 as rainfall increased from 158 mm in the long rains 1991 to 470 mm in the short rains 1992. Treatments had little impact on the balance between transpiration and evaporation from the soil surface. The average transpiration efficiencies for maize and bean were 89 and 29 kg shoot dry matter ha - I mm - I, respectively. For each crop there was a 60% change in transpiration efficiency between the short and the long rain season which could be accounted for by differences in saturation vapor pressure deficit.
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Field Crops Research, 41, p. 179-188
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