Title

Water efficient urban landscapes - integrating different water use categorizations and plant types

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

HortScience

Volume

47

Issue

2

Publisher

American Society for Horticultural Science

Publication Date

2-1-2012

First Page

254

Last Page

263

Abstract

Little research has examined water requirements of entire irrigated urban landscapes integrating different types of plants. Three landscape treatments integrating different types of plants—woody, herbaceous perennial, turf—and putative water use classifications—mesic, mixed, xeric—were grown in large drainage lysimeters. Each landscape plot was divided into woody plant, turf, and perennial hydrozones and irrigated for optimum water status over 2 years and water use measured using a water balance approach. For woody plants and herbaceous perennials, canopy cover rather than plant type or water use classification was the key determinant of water use relative to reference evapotranspiration (ETo) under well-watered conditions. For turf, monthly evapotranspiration (ETa) followed a trend linearly related to ETo. Monthly plant factors (Kp) for woody plants, perennials, and turf species under well-watered conditions in this study ranged from 0.3 to 0.9, 0.2 to 0.5, and 0.5 to 1.2, respectively. Adjusted Kp for each hydrozone was calculated based on landscaped area covered by plant types as a percent of total area, and landscape factor (Kl) was calculated based on adjusted Kp for each landscape treatment. Overall, Kl relative to ETo ranged from 0.6 to 0.8 for three water use classifications.

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