Soil water content standardization in agricultural experimentation is essential to mitigate variability within treatments, decreasing experimental errors arising from irrigation management. The aim of this study was to assess soil moisture maintenance methods using sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) grown under controlled conditions as indicator plant. The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse during the period between August and October 2014, using an oxisol. Treatments consisted of four soil moisture maintenance methods (tensiometer, Irrigas®, gravimetric method and self-watering system) in eight repetitions, using an entirely randomized design. Variables analyzed were: chlorophyll content, dry matter of the head, leaves, stem, root, and total dry matter, water consumption and water use efficiency for head dry matter yield. Irrigation management based on gravimetric method is sufficient to provide higher biomass accumulation in the crop, consequently increasing plants water consumption.
Key words: Soil water content, Helianthus annuus L., gravimetric method.
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