The specialty section 'Irrigation' publishes original, peer-reviewed research on timely topics related to sustainable agriculture—primarily original research papers on fundamental and applied aspects of irrigated soil management. We particularly welcome studies with strong mechanistic and mathematical modeling approaches for describing the different processes taking place in the active root zone. We will also consider review articles that critically evaluate the literature and provide a roadmap for future development in this research field.
Irrigation based on knowledge and the use of advanced methods and equipment, is necessary to narrow the gap between the increasing global water shortage—intensified by global climate change— and the need to produce enough high-quality food for a growing world population. As a multidisciplinary topic, irrigation involves different processes in the soil–plant–atmosphere continuum (SPAC) aimed at providing plants with sufficient water to maintain high productivity under local ambient conditions (atmospheric water demand, soil type, etc.), while keeping the root zone aerated. Properly managed irrigation should preclude the accumulation of salt and other agrochemicals in the root zone by controlling their leaching. Irrigation efficiency can be enhanced by the use of advanced irrigation technology, e.g., state-of-the-art irrigation equipment, soil, plant and atmospheric sensors, field-scale remote sensing, etc., and models that translate the measured data for decision-making.
Interactions between the soil, rhizosphere microbial community and plant roots are central to ensuring food security, as well as the delivery of a wide range of ecosystem services. The Irrigation section aims to address this topic from a multidisciplinary perspective.
This might include, but is not limited to, aspects such as:
Irrigation management (amount, rate, and intervals) for different crops and soils
Irrigation using marginal-quality water
Irrigation management under shallow water tables
Irrigation-dependent soil hydraulic characteristics
Irrigation management of marginal soils
Effects of reduced-wettability on irrigation efficiency and crop productivity
Sensor-based irrigation management
Irrigation of soil substrates
Remote sensing-based irrigation scheduling
Sustainable irrigated agriculture
The articles published in the irrigation section will help scientists, extension specialists, farmers, and policymakers select and apply better technologies and methodologies, to assist in the development of strategies for improved resource management on various scales.
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