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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 973638, 8 pages
Research Article

Effects of Irrigation with Treated Wastewater on Root and Fruit Mineral Elements of Chemlali Olive Cultivar

1Laboratory of Environment and Biology of Arid Area, Department of Life Science, Faculty of Sciences, P.O. Box. 802, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia
2Laboratory of Improvement of Olive and Fruit Trees’ Productivity, Olive Tree Institute, P.O. Box. 1087, 3000 Sfax, Tunisia
3Dipartimento di Scienze del Suolo, della Pianta e degli Alimenti, University of Bari “Aldo Moro, ” Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy

Received 14 January 2014; Revised 21 April 2014; Accepted 12 May 2014; Published 11 June 2014

Academic Editor: Vicente Martínez

Copyright © 2014 Saida Bedbabis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Twenty-year-old “Chemlali” olive trees trained to vase and rainfed were investigated in either “on” (2004) or “off” (2003) year. A randomized block design with three blocks and three treatments was used and each experimental plot consisted of nine olive trees. Three treatments were applied: (1) rainfed conditions (RF, used as control treatment); (2) irrigation with well water (WW); and (3) irrigation with treated wastewater (TWW). Irrigation with TWW led to a significant increase of root N, P, Ca, Zn, Mn, Na, and Cl concentrations, in particular in the on-year. Data showed significant differences, between the two years, for the concentration of the mineral elements in the roots, with general lower values in the on-year, probably as a consequence of nutrients movement upward in the tree. Fruit N, P, K, Zn, Mn, and Cl contents were significantly higher in TWW irrigated trees with respect to both RF and WW trees, whereas similar values for Ca, Mg, Na, and Cl contents were measured for WW and TWW irrigated trees. The irrigation with TWW allowed to reuse problematic waters and to save nutrients inputs in the olive orchard thus moving towards a more sustainable management of olive orchards in countries where water is the major limiting factor for agriculture.