(Web) Irrigation and Mulch Effects on Desert Shrub Transplant Establishment

DAVID BAINBRIDGE, JOHN TISZLER, ROBERT MACALLER, AND MICHAEL

On a Sonoran Desert site, transplanted honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa Torrey var. torreyana (L. Benson) M.C. Johnston [Fabaceae]) seedlings watered through deep-pipes had significantly higher survival (71%) than those irrigated through buried clay pots (52%), and 3X better survival than surface irrigated (control) plants (23%). Mesquite watered with deep-pipes were much taller than surface-watered plants. When combined with irrigation, neither bark mulch or vertical mulch of plant stems improved survival and growth. If protected from herbivores, honey mesquite can be successfully established on dry desert sites without mulch using deep-pipe irrigation and minimal water (< 20 l (5.3 gal) over 3.5 y).

KEY WORDS: Irrigation efficiency, deep-pipe, clay pot, irrigation, mesquite, Prosopis glandulosa

http://npj.uwpress.org/content/2/1/25.full.pdf+html