During three consecutive seasons, two different deficit irrigation strategies were compared with control fully irrigated trees regarding their capacity to induce early bloom and harvest in "Algerie" loquat. The first strategy, a continuous deficit irrigation strategy, consisted in a uniform reduction of 20% water needs through the entire season; the second strategy, a regulated deficit irrigation approach, while accounting for the same global reduction of 20% loquat water needs, concentrated water shortages after harvest from mid-May through the end of August. Regulated deficit irrigation resulted more successful. Postharvest regulated deficit irrigation advanced full bloom 10-20 days depending on the season. Such enhancement led to more precocious and valuable yield, with an average increase of fruit value of 0.21 € kg -1. The effects of continuous deficit irrigation were less noticeable and average fruit value was increased 0.08 € kg-1. Yield and fruit quality were not affected for the different deficit irrigation strategies. Water savings established around 1450 m3 ha-1 year -1. Deficit irrigation rose water use efficiency up to more than a 40%. © 2007 Springer-Verlag.
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