Water requirement and use by Jatropha curcas in a semi-arid tropical location

Rao, A V R K and Wani, S P and Singh, P and Srinivas, K and Srinivasa Rao, Ch (2012) Water requirement and use by Jatropha curcas in a semi-arid tropical location. Biomass & Bioenergy, 39. pp. 175-181. ISSN 0961-9534

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Jatropha curcas has attracted the attention of researchers, policy makers and industries as a good candidate for biodiesel to meet the growing energy demand. It is a non-edible oil crop, drought tolerant and could be grown on degraded lands in the tropics without competing for lands currently used for food production. Jatropha curcas is a wild plant that is not much researched and little is known about its water requirement and production potential of promising clones in different agroclimatic conditions. Water use assessment of Jatropha curcas plantations in the semi-arid tropical location at ICRISAT, Patancheru indicated that crop evapotranspiration of Jatropha curcas under no moisture stress varied from 1410-1538 mm per year during 2006-2009. Under field conditions the crop evapotranspiration varied from 614-930 mm depending on atmospheric demand, rainfall and phonological stage. Patterns of soil water depletion indicated that with growing plant age from two to five years, depth of soil water extraction increased from 100 cm to 150 cm by fifth year. Monthly water use varied from 10-20 mm to 140 mm depending on water availability and environmental demand. This study indicated that Jatropha curcas has a good drought tolerance mechanism, however under favourable soil moisture conditions, Jatropha could use large amounts of water for luxurious growth and high yield. These findings highlight the need to carefully assess the implications of large Jatropha curcas plantations on water availability and use under different agroecosystems, particularly so in water scarce regions such as semi-arid and arid regions in the tropics.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Jatropha curcas, Water requirements, Semi-Arid Tropics, Soil moisture, Biodiesel
Subjects: Others > Watershed Management
Depositing User: Users 6 not found.
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 06:03
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2012 10:51
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/3870
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2012.01.013
Funders: Government of Andhra Pradesh, International Fund for Agricultural Development
Acknowledgement: The financial support for this study provided by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, India and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Rome, Italy is gratefully acknowledged.
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