The objective of this study is to explore an efficient management mode of water and nitrogen fertilizer for Arabica coffee. Effects of irrigation and nitrogen levels on growth and photosynthetic characteristics of Arabica coffee were studied in greenhouse planting slot for 1.5 years. The irrigation and nitrogen management modes include four(W1-sufficient irrigation, W2-high water, W3-middle water, and W4-low water)and three(N1-high, N2-middle nitrogen and N3-low nitrogen)levels, respectively. The results show that the water content in the soil changes with irrigation time and has the maximum on the third day after irrigation; and the irrigation results in a greater effect on the photosynthetic efficiency of leaves and water use efficiency than the nitrogen does. For example, the net photosynthetic rates are increased by 19.60%-57.35%, 18.06%-94.72%, 4.40%-107.62% and 2.59%-79.94% at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and at 16:00, respectively, under N1 nitrogen condition at water levels W1 to W3, compared with level W4. The net photosynthetic and transpiration rates of leaves increase with nitrogen level initially, but then decrease; water use efficiency always increases with irrigation level. The activities of antioxidant enzymes(superoxide dismutase, peroxidase and ascorbate peroxidase)have got the maximum value at level W3, comparing with level W4, they are increased by 5.01%, 97.70% and 167.61%, respectively. This suggests that the enzyme is the most active when the moisture content is relatively lack. An increased irrigation and nitrogen levels can improve Arabica coffee growth parameters, such as plant height, stem diameter, branching factor, and crown diameter, number of leaves and new-branch length. For the combination of N2 and W2, not only the water use efficiency is the maximum, but also the growth parameters and initial yield are more satisfactory, thus this combination is the best for a higher efficient utilization of both water and nitrogen fertilizer.
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