Main Article Content
The present investigation aims to evaluate the vegetative and reproductive growth along with the root distribution of irrigated and non-irrigated coffee plants, obtained from seedlings formed in two containers under different levels of shading. For this purpose, the experiments were carried out at the Federal Institute of Espírito Santo, Alegre Campus, in field conditions. With the intention of assessing the vegetative and reproductive development of branches, various features of the plants were evaluated such as (i) the growth of the orthotropic branch, (ii) growth of plagiotropic branches, (iii) number of flowers revenged by plagiotropic branch, (iv) number of nodes, (v) number of fruits per node, (vi) number of fruits per branch, (vii) fruit aborted per branch, (viii) fresh fruit mass per branch, (ix) internodes, production, and (x) yield. Additionally, the estimation of the roots was carried out at four different depths: (a) 0-10 cm, (b) 10-20 cm, (c) 20-30 cm, and (d) 30-40 cm. Apart from root depths, the root surface area, diameter, and length were also analysed. In response to the above experiments, the irrigated plants exhibited a higher number of (1) nodes, (2) flowers set, (3) fruits per plagiotropic branch, and per node, in addition to, higher yield per plant. Also, a better distribution of the root system in the soil profile, with a higher root concentration in the 0-20 cm layer was found to occur due to irrigation. The total numbers of fine roots were found to be more superior in the case of irrigated plants than rainfed plants. On the other hand, shading used in seedling production was found to exhibit its effect only on the root diameter of irrigated plants. However, the type of container used in the seedling formation exerted no influence on the growth of branches and development of roots of conilon coffee.