Effect of Water Salinity on Seedlings Growth of Brown Turkey and Royal Fig Cultivars
Saline water was previously considered unusable for irrigation but some researchers have shown that these waters can be used successfully to grow crops under certain conditions Bravdo 2000,Dordipour et al., 2004. It is well known that salt can impair the performance of production and growth of many horticultural plants especially fruit trees. (Glenn et al., 1999, Abd El-Hady et al., 2003). This study was aimed to evaluate the effect of water salinity on the vegetative growth of fig (Ficus carica, var Brown Turkey and Royal). The study was carried out during April, May and June 2009/2010, under the conditions of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia). Four irrigation treatments were applied using four levels of sodium chloride (NaCl): 0.8, (control), 2.5, 4.6 and 5.2 dS m-1, plus a fifth treatment that combined all concentrations starting gradually from low concentration to high concentration of NaCl. Irrigation was 1.5 L seedling-1, 2 times per week for three months in each season. In both varieties there were significant differences among treatments in leaf chlorophyll (a) and chlorophyll (b), but no differences in total chlorophyll. Proline free concentrations of Brown Turkey were higher than those in the Royal as salinity increased. Generally, Brown Turkey was less affected by salinity than Royal. Water irrigation containing salinity levels up to5.2 dSm-1 is recommended for Brown Turkey in contrast with the Royal variety in order to overcome the shortage of water resources.
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