Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Tree Wind Breaks in Central Asia and Their Effects on Agricultural Water Consumption

Version 1 : Received: 21 June 2019 / Approved: 22 June 2019 / Online: 22 June 2019 (11:30:43 CEST)

How to cite: Thevs, N.; Gombert, A.J.; Strenge, E.; Aliev, K.; Emileva, B. Tree Wind Breaks in Central Asia and Their Effects on Agricultural Water Consumption. Preprints 2019, 2019060220 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201906.0220.v1). Thevs, N.; Gombert, A.J.; Strenge, E.; Aliev, K.; Emileva, B. Tree Wind Breaks in Central Asia and Their Effects on Agricultural Water Consumption. Preprints 2019, 2019060220 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201906.0220.v1).

Abstract

Across Central Asia, agriculture largely depends on irrigation due to arid and semi-arid climatic conditions. Water is abstracted from rivers, which are largely fed by glacier melt. In the course of climate change, glaciers melt down so that a reduced glacier volume and reduced water runoffs are expected being available for irrigation. Tree wind breaks are one option to reduce water consumption in irrigated agriculture and build resilience against climate change. This paper therefore assessed water consumption of major crops (cotton, wheat, corn, rice, potato, and barley) in Kyrgyzstan and adjacent areas in combination with tree wind breaks. Crop water consumption was assessed through the Penman Monteith approach. Tree wind break types investigated were single rows from poplars and multiple rows with undergrowth by elm and poplar, respectively. Tree water consumption was determined through sapflow measurements. Seasonal ETo for field crops was 876 mm to 995 mm without wind breaks and dropped to less than half through multiple row wind breaks with undergrowth (50 m spacing). Tree water consumption was 1125 mm to 1558 mm for poplar and 435 mm for elm. Among the wind break crop systems, elm wind breaks resulted in highest reductions of water consumption, followed by single row poplars, at spacing of 50 m and 100 m, respectively. Yet, elm grows much slower than poplar so that poplars might be more attractive for farmers. Furthermore, single row wind breaks might by much easier to be integrated into the agrarian landscape, as they consume less space.

Subject Areas

agroforestry; Populus; Ulmus; cotton; corn; microclimate; evapotranspiration; irrigation

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