MONITORING XYLEM SAP IN SUGARCANE THROUGH TDR
The TDR can be used to measure water content and nutrients in several media with a potential to monitor the xylem sap flow in plants. The objective of this study was to determine whether there is a correlation between the xylem sap content and water available in the soil for sugarcane cultivation using TDR. The study was conducted in a protected environment with eight boxes (500 L). The boxes were divided into two treatments with different water application rates (1.6 and 3.4 L h-1) through subsurface irrigation. In each box TDR probes were inserted in the medium part of sugarcane stalk, totaling three probes per box to monitoring the sap flow. The soil water content was monitored using 20 net-placed probes. Therefore, the simultaneous monitoring of xylem sap and soil water content occurred for five months. As a result, it was obtained that the xylem content monitoring through TDR is moderately related to soil moisture, with a response to the absorption and translocation of the solution in the stem of sugarcane plants as a consequence of irrigation applications and/or fertirrigation. Thus, it was concluded that there is a weak relations between water contents in the soil and plant, especially for the treatment that used the highest flow rate (3.4 L h-1).