CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean

Cosenza, Italy

CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean

Cosenza, Italy

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Ierna A.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2010

Previous studies indicate biomass and grain production for energy purposes as potential utilizations of the three Cynara cardunculus botanical varieties (globe artichoke, cultivated cardoon, and wild cardoon). In this work, the results of C. cardunculus biomass and grain yield under Sicilian (south Italy) low input conditions are shown. Over a 3 year period on the plain of Catania (South Italy) six genotypes of C. cardunculus, including 1 cultivated cardoon cultivar, 1 globe artichoke line, 1 wild cardoon ecotype, 3 F1 progenies: "globe artichoke × wild cardoon", "globe artichoke × cultivated cardoon" and "cultivated cardoon × wild cardoon", were evaluated for lignocellulosic biomass production, energy yield and grain yield. On a 3 year average, the dry aboveground biomass and grain yield resulted, respectively, about 2000 g plant-1 and 100 g plant-1 in "globe artichoke × wild cardoon", 1720 and 126 g plant-1 in cultivated cardoon, 1570 and 90 g plant-1 in "globe artichoke × cultivated cardoon", 1480 and 109 g plant-1 in "cultivated cardoon × wild cardoon", 1116 and 75 g plant-1 in wild cardoon and 990 and 60 g plant-1 in globe artichoke. The results showed that genotypes deriving from the cross of globe artichoke with cultivated and wild cardoon improved the performance both of globe artichoke and wild cardoon separately. It is reasonable to expect further improvements for biomass and grain yield in C. cardunculus in the future by breeding work. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Patane C.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean
Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science | Year: 2011

In order to assess the effects of soil water availability and climatic conditions on leaf growth, leaf transpiration (E) and stomatal conductance (gs) of processing tomato, under deficit irrigation regimes in the Mediterranean climate, open-field experiments were carried out in two sites differing from soil and climatic characteristics, in Sicily, South Italy. A wide range of soil water availability from dry, deficit irrigation to full irrigation was examined. Leaf area greatly changed with soil water availability but not with the experimental site. The effect of soil drying on physiological indices was small over a certain range of soil water deficit (from 0% to approximately 40%). Within this range, vapour pressure deficit (VPD) strongly affected gs. To this regard, the adoption of two experimental sites differing in climatic conditions (i.e. air temperature, RH, VPD) has been useful for a better understanding of the mechanisms, which regulate stomatal opening. Therefore, in Mediterranean environment, the combined effect of soil water availability (mostly upon leaf growth) and climatic conditions (mostly upon plant physiology) must be considered in models for biomass production in tomato crop. © 2010 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Caloiero T.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean
Natural Hazards | Year: 2014

A higher precipitation concentration, represented by greater percentages of the yearly total precipitation in a few very rainy days, has the potential to impact considerably on water resources. In this paper, an investigation of the spatial and temporal patterns of daily precipitation concentration in New Zealand has been carried out by means of a daily precipitation dataset. Results show a different behavior between North Island, with the most critical rainfall concentration, and South Island, where precipitation concentration values on the eastern side are comparable to those of North Island, while the western side presents the lowest values of precipitation concentration. On a seasonal scale, the spatial gradients for summer and autumn are similar to the annual one. The application of the Mann-Kendall test shows a general negative trend detected in the eastern part of North Island, in particular in winter and autumn, and a west/east difference trend in South Island, in particular in winter and summer. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Altieri R.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean | Esposito A.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean
International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation | Year: 2010

Recycling to soil Olive Mill Waste (OMW) has the potential to improve soil fertility, thus reducing CO2 emission associated to global warming. However, the short period in which OMW are produced and the high load of recalcitrant compounds, make difficult direct land spreading of raw OMW. Consequently, sustainable biological treatments able to transform OMW into a safe amendment have been progressively developed. In comparison to a standard mineral fertilization, the present work assessed the agronomic performance of two innovative kinds of OMW compost, used as fertilizers in Lactuca sativa and Lycopersicon esculentum cultivation trials. Both crops showed yields comparable to control, thus suggesting that most of the nutrients contained in the OMW supported adequately plant growth, even in short-term crops. Six months later OMW application, no significant differences were found in the soil humic content. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Ierna A.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean | Mauromicale G.,University of Catania
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2012

Excessive amounts of irrigation water are often utilized for early potato cultivated in the Mediterranean basin. Given that water is an expensive and limited resource in semi-arid areas, it is crucial to provide a better irrigation management and/or irrigation technologies that facilitate its efficient and effective use, in turn leading to savings in water. With the aim of achieving appropriate irrigation water regimes in cultivation management of a potato crop in a Mediterranean environment, a two-year experiment was conducted in Sicily (South Italy). The effects of four irrigation regimes (irrigation only at plant emergence, irrigation during the whole cycle, irrigation from tuber initiation up to 50% of tuber growth, irrigation from 50% of tuber growth to the end of tuber growth), on the tuber yield and yield components, on irrigation water productivity (IWP) and on tuber quality, were studied. Our results showed a marked and significant effect of the irrigation regime on tuber yield, IWP, source/sink relationships and dry matter content of tubers. We also demonstrate that high yield levels of potatoes, high IWP and good tuber quality can be reached by irrigating with 100% maximum evapotranspiration (ETm) supply from tuber initiation up to 50% of tuber growth. Compared to irrigation with 100% ETm supply throughout the whole cycle, this allows making savings of irrigation water of roughly 77mmyear-1, which is a significant reduction for the semi-arid areas. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Raccuia S.A.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean | Melilli M.G.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean
Field Crops Research | Year: 2010

Cynara cardunculus accumulates inulin in large amounts in roots. Some representative types of cardoons and globe artichoke were genetically screened to select genotypes suitable for total sugar and inulin production in the Mediterranean environment. Seasonal dynamics of biomass, inulin, and water-soluble carbohydrate (W.S.C.) in roots of three taxa of C. cardunculus L. were studied for 2 years, in order to investigate a possible relationship between the physiological state of the plant and the distribution of carbohydrates in roots. Globe artichoke, cultivated cardoon, and wild cardoon were grown in Sicily. Whole biomass was collected monthly. Dry matter partitioning and characterization of root sugars, performed by high-performance anion exchange chromatography (HPAEC), were studied for each. Changes in W.S.C. well correlated with the conditions of growth. In particular, W.S.C. content increased when the plants used their root reserves to overcome cold stress in winter and during formation of stalks and capitula. Maximum inulin content with high degree of polymerization was recorded before the beginning of flower formation. The cardoons and globe artichoke differed in their inulin patterns. Storing fructans in underground organs could be interpreted as an adaptive strategy of C. cardunculus to overcome unfavourable conditions in the Mediterranean region. The three taxa showed different patterns of biomass accumulation and partitioning, reflected in accumulation of inulin and/or its breakdown in roots. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Coscarelli R.,CNR Research Institute for Geo-hydrological Protection | Caloiero T.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2012

High percentages of the yearly total precipitation concentration in a few very rainy days can increase the risks of floods and soil instability. In this paper, an investigation of the spatial and temporal patterns of daily and monthly precipitation concentration in Calabria (Southern Italy) has been carried out by means of a homogenous daily precipitation data set. The results show that a very dishomogeneous temporal distribution of the daily rainfall characterizes the eastern side of the region with rain gauges in which one quarter of the rainiest days represents almost three quarters of the total pluviometric amount, and a western side which presents a more homogenous temporal distribution of the rainfall. Moreover, the application of the Mann-Kendall test has shown a clear tendency toward a weaker seasonality of the rainfall distribution. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Caloiero T.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean
Environmental Earth Sciences | Year: 2015

Climate variability and climate change have become key issues for the research community. In particular, precipitation plays a crucial role in the process because its variations in seasonal and monthly values, coupled with changes in extreme events, can impact on water resources, on natural environments and human activities, as well as on human health and safety. In this paper, an investigation of the precipitation variability in New Zealand has been carried out by means of a daily precipitation dataset of 294 rain gages with more than 50 years of observation. First, a statistical analysis was performed through the Mann–Kendall non-parametric test to detect possible trends at seasonal and monthly scale. Then, the daily rainfall series were studied by classifying the events into six different rainfall categories and by analyzing the presence of any significant trend through the non-parametric Mann–Kendall test. Results did not show a marked trend; however, a positive trend in winter and in spring and a negative trend in summer and autumn have been detected. The spatial analysis of the trend in the South Island for several time aggregations showed a negative trend in the eastern side and a positive trend in the south-western side. Moreover, the trend analysis of the different rainfall categories showed a decreasing trend of the middle categories and an increasing trend of the weaker category. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Patane C.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean | Cosentino S.L.,University of Catania
European Journal of Agronomy | Year: 2013

Kenaf is a warm-season species that recently has been proved to be a good source of biomass for cellulose pulp for the paper industry in Mediterranean countries, where the use of hemp is problematic for legal reasons. A two-year research program aiming at studying the effects of different water regimes and nitrogen fertilization levels, upon plant growth, leaf area index, biomass accumulation, water and radiation use efficiency, was carried out on kenaf under a typically semi-arid Mediterranean climate of South Italy. In cv. Tainung 2, four different water regimes (I0=no irrigation, I25, I50 and I100=25, 50 and 100% ETc restoration, respectively) and three nitrogen levels (N0=no nitrogen, N75 and N150=75 and 150kgha-1 of N, respectively) were studied. The amount of water applied strongly affected plant growth (in terms of LAI, plant height and biomass) and final total and stem dry yield, which significantly increased from I0 to I100. Nitrogen did not exert any beneficial effect upon dry yield. Radiation Use Efficiency (RUE), calculated in the second year only, was the highest (1.95gDMMJ-1) in fully irrigated treatment (I100) and the lowest (0.86gDMMJ-1) in the dry control. Water use efficiency (WUE) was rather similar among water regimes, whilst irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE) progressively increased with the decrease of total volume of water distributed to the crop by irrigation, from 3.47 to 12.45kgm-3 in 2004 and from 4.27 to 7.72kgm-3 in 2005. The results obtained from this research demonstrate that in semi-arid areas of South Italy, irrigation at a reduced rate (50% ETc restoration) may be advantageous, since it allowed a 42-45% irrigation water saving, when compared to the fully irrigation treatment, against a 23% (in 2004) and 36% (in 2005) yield reduction, and a still good efficiency (near that potential) in transforming the solar radiation in dry biomass was maintained (RUE=1.76gDMMJ-1, against 1.95gDMMJ-1 in fully irrigated treatment). © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Patane C.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean | Cosentino S.L.,University of Catania
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2010

In order to assess the effect of soil water deficit (SWD) during fruit development and ripening, on yield and quality of processing tomato under deficit irrigation in the Mediterranean climate, an open-field experiment was carried out in two sites differing from soil and climatic characteristics, in Sicily, South Italy. Six irrigation treatments were studied: no irrigation following plant establishment (NI); 100% (F = full) or 50% (D = deficit) ETc restoration with long-season irrigation (L) or short-season irrigation up to 1st fruit set (S); and long-season irrigation with 100% ETc restoration up to beginning of flowering, then 50% ETc restoration (LFD). The greatest effect of increasing SWD was the rise in fruit firmness, total solids and soluble solids (SS). A negative trend in response to increasing SWD was observed for fruit yield and size. Tough yield and SS were negatively correlated, the final SS yield under the LD regime was close to that of LF, and 47% water was saved. However, SS seems to be more environmental sensitive than SWD, since it varied more between sites than within site. The variations between sites in fruit quality response to deficit irrigation demonstrate that not only SWD but also soil and climatic characteristics influence the quality traits of the crop. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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