A Short Non-Saline Sprinkling Increases the Tuber Weights of Saline Sprinkler Irrigated Potatoes
Stevens, R M
Pech, Joanne M
Grigson, G J
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Previous work has shown that a short non-saline sprinkling, following saline sprinkling, increased crop growth. We incorporated this finding into an investigation of two approaches to the conjunctive use of saline and non-saline water sources for sprinkler irrigation of potatoes viz., (i) mixing waters prior to application, and (ii) keeping waters temporally separate, that is commencing each irrigation with saline water and finishing it with non-saline sprinkling. The latter approach delayed canopy senescence and increased tuber weight by at least 150%. Under both approaches, soil salinities and leaf and tuber concentrations of Na+ and Cl− were similar. Thus, the advantages of a non-saline sprinkling cannot be explained in terms of its effect on either soil osmotic potential or bulk tissue concentrations of putatively toxic ions Na+ and Cl−. We propose that the positive effect of finishing irrigations with a non-saline sprinkling may be attributed to either dilution, and hence increase in osmotic potential, of the water film that remains on the leaf after each irrigation or its effect on the distribution of the putatively toxic ions Na+ and Cl− within tissue. View Full-Text
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