Document Type : Full Paper
Former M. Sc. Student, College of Agriculture, University of Kurdistan, Iran
Assistant Professor, College of Agriculture, University of Kurdistan, Iran
This experiment was conducted to study the effect of plastic mulch on the growth and some physiological characteristics of two strawberry cultivars (Paros and Queen elisa) under drought stress. A factorial experiment was performed based on randomized complete block design with four treatments, including mulch, without mulch, normal irrigation (control) and deficit irrigation (-10 bar) with three replications. Some vegetative and physiological parameters in first year and yield of second year were measured. Results showed that leaf relative water content and stomatal conductance reduced by drought stress in both cultivars. Using of mulch increased leaf relative water content, cell membrane stability index and stomatal conductance in both cultivars compared with drought stress conditions. Drought stress reduced cell membrane stability index in Queen Eliza. However, Parus had higher cell membrane stability index than Queen elisa under drought conditions. Proline and total soluble carbohydrates significantly increased in both cultivars under drought stress compared to control. The amount of total soluble carbohydrates increased in Parus under drought conditions even with using mulch. Root to shoot dry weight ratio was increased under drought stress. Reduction of total dry matter was obtained by decline in leaf and petiole dry matter. However, application of mulch had significant effect on increasing of root dry weight, volume and length under drought stress. Yield of next year increased by mulch application under drought stress compared to non-mulch application. Results showed that using plastic mulch improved growth characteristics of strawberry under drought stress and helped to lower reduction of next year yield.