It was presumed that shallow water table restricted leaf growth and some water-related parameters; therefore, they can be used as indicators of plant stress due to the water table condition. Objective of this research was to evaluate morphological stress indicators in tomato plants exposed to shallow water table. The research was conducted in two stages: (1) developing reliable LA estimation model from June to September 2016; as pre-requisite for (2) calculating and evaluating the morphological indicators for stress due to shallow water table treatments, conducted from February to May 2017. Treated plants were placed inside experimental pools. Each treatment was done by partially submerging growing substrate to the targeted water tables at 5 cm and 10 cm below surface of the substrate. Untreated control plants were kept outside the pools. Zero-intercept linear model was the selected model for leaf area estimation after evaluating 15 combinations of five regression models and three predictors. Results of this study indicated that steady water table at 5-cm and 10-cm depth did not restrain relative leaf expansion rate (RLER) and there was no significant difference in specific leaf fresh weight (SLFW) and specific leaf water content (SLWC) between treated and untreated plants, measured prior to, during, and after recovery from shallow water table treatments. In conclusion, if position of water table was steady, the shallow water table at 5-cm depth or deeper did not affect tomato growth.
Full article can be downloaded here: 2017 AJCS Shallow water table in tomato plants