IMPACT OF MAGNETIC FIELD OF SALINE IRRIGATION WATER ON THE GROWTH AND GAS EXCHANGE PARAMETERS OF DATE PALMAbdel-Kader A. Sallam
Soil salinity and water deficit are major environmental constraints limiting crop production in dry and semi-arid regions, where scarce water for irrigation and increased ground water salinity intensify soil salinization. This study was conducted to investigate the growth parameters and gas exchange response of tissue culture-derived date palm cv. Sagai, at four different salinity levels (0, 1000, 3000, and 5000 ppm) using compound salts, and four magnetic field (MF) strengths (0, 20, 40 and 60 mT) under Alahsa Oasis conditions during two successive seasons (2010 and 2011). The results showed that water salinity exerted negative effects on all growth parameters and gas exchange priorities up to 5000 ppm. However, MF treatment had significant positive effects on vegetative growth (number of leaves, growth rate, and fresh and dry weights) and also enhanced all gas exchange parameters including chlorophyll, net photosynthesis, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, and water use efficiency, but reduced the intercellular CO2 concentration. At all salinity levels, a 40 mT was most effective. Therefore, water salinity up to 5000 ppm could be used through a MF at 40 mT to overcome the scarcity of irrigation water in arid areas such as the Alahsa Oasis, KSA.
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