Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 19  2007 June p.  364-372

Short-term responses of oil palm to an interrupted dry season in North Kedah, Malaysia

Author(s): HENSON, Ian Eugene* ; MOHD HANIF Harun*

The annual dry season in north Kedah, which can extend for two to three months, was interrupted in 2006 by three substantial rains at approximately monthly intervals. Measurements of CO2 , latent heat and sensible heat fluxes above the canopy of five and a half year-old oil palm, supplemented by growth measurements, soil water and supporting meteorological data, indicated considerable mitigation by the rainfall of the effects of the dry season. Thus, reductions in CO2 uptake, canopy conductance and evapotranspiration, and increases in sensible heat flux and accumulation of spear leaves, were less than expected.
The data suggest that even infrequent irrigation during a dry season may suffice to prevent a substantial build-up of stress in the palms under the edaphic conditions of the trial. Further observations to determine the long-term impacts on yield are, however, necessary.

Keywords: , , , ,

Author Information
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board, P. O. Box 10620, 50720 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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