Distribution of rainfall and soil moisture content in the soil profile under citrus tree canopy and at the dripline
The plant canopy intercepts rain and thus can alter the distribution of water under the canopy as compared to that along the dripline. The effects of a citrus (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck) tree (25-year-old, Valencia orange) canopy on the distribution of rainfall and soil moisture content within the soil profile either along the dripline (D) or under the canopy near the trunk (inner side; I), and midway between I and Dripline (M) were evaluated, on the east and west sides of trees planted along north-south rows. Results of eleven storm events in 1995 (mean of east and west sides) revealed that the amounts of precipitation at the D, M, and I positions were 97-140, 47-94, and 52-79% of the incident rainfall, respectively. Thus, canopy interception of incident rainfall was quite appreciable. The soil moisture content was greater along the dripline compared to that at the M and I positions, particularly in the deeper (≥60 cm) soil profile. The water flux was significantly greater at the dripline than under the canopy indicating a greater leaching potential of soil-applied fertilizers and other chemicals when placed along the dripline. A substantial reduction in the rainfall and water flux under the canopy as a result of canopy interception suggests that application of fertilizer and chemicals under the canopy could minimize leaching losses.
Alva, A., Prakash, O., Fares, A., & Hornsby, A. (1999). Distribution of rainfall and soil moisture content in the soil profile under citrus tree canopy and at the dripline. Irrigation Science, 18, 109-115. https://doi.org/10.1007/s002710050051