From Rio to Lancaster in search of partial rootzone drying
My name is Leonardo Duarte Batista da Silva and I’m a Professor at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro). In Brazil I conduct research on environmental engineering, water resources and irrigation.
I received funding from the Brazilian government through CNPq (www.cnpq.br) to sponsor my sabbatical year at the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) together with Professor Ian Dodd and his team from May 2021 until June 2022.
My research focuses on whether partial root zone drying (PRD) increases water use efficiency of tomato by increasing plant ABA concentrations, when plants are grown at different levels of soil water availability. Within the greenhouse, I’ve grown plants in 5 liter pots divided with a vertical partition and have already measured soil moisture and stomatal conductance to understand plant responses. I’ve been helped by attending Delta-T Devices training workshops, arranged within the SHui Project, to learn the instrumentation and available software. In future experiments I will measure leaf water potential and ABA levels to understand the regulation of stomatal responses. I’d like to thank Prof Ian Dodd and his entire team, as well as Lancaster University, for hosting my visit. Also special thanks to CNPq for funding me and the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro for giving me the opportunity to develop this important work, as it will enhance my interactions with other Brazilian colleagues who are conducting field work on PRD on typical Brazilian crops such as coffee and papaya.