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Physiological performance of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) under two irrigation systems and tillage in a high Andean zone of Colombia

Crop of potato cv. Pastusa Superior, Siachoque-Colombia. Photo: E. Medina


Potato cultivation in the Andean Colombian region is vulnerable to variability and climate change, due to the more use of water and increase in temperature, affecting the sustainability of the cultivation system due to increased demand for irrigation. With the purpose of evaluating two types of tillage (conventional and conservation) and irrigation systems (sprinkler and drip) and the physiological performance of potato cv. Pastusa Superior, a crossed block design with four treatment and a non-irrigated control was used. Dry matter accumulation, marketable yield and physiological variables were evaluated: transpiration, net photosynthesis or CO2 assimilation rate, intercellular CO2 concentration, stomatal conductance, intrinsic water use efficiency, efficient use of transpiration (every 21 days after emergence of 50% of the pants), soil variables bulk density, total porosity and weighted average aggregate diameter before and after cultivation, and water productivity. Drip irrigation increased yield by 25.53% compared to no irrigation. No effect of tillage on yield, soil variables and physiological performance was found, however, conservation tillage improved the physical properties evaluated. Drip irrigation favored the performance of physiological variables and water productivity, making it an important option to improve crop productivity in dry areas in order to improve yield and water productivity.


Drought, Water management, Leaf gas exchange, Climate change, Cultural practices



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