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Publication Type J
Authors Kafi, M., H. Asadi and A. Ganjeali
Title Possible utilization of high-salinity waters and application of low amounts of water for production of the halophyte Kochia scoparia as alternative fodder in saline agroecosystems
Source Agricultural Water Management
Abstract Production of halophytes using saline waters and soils and feeding them to livestock is one of the most sustainable methods of conservation in desert ecosystems, in addition to accomplishing food production for the people living in these areas. Therefore, to study the possibility of irrigating Kochia (Kochia scoparia L. Schrad) with minimum quantities of highly saline water for use as a fodder crop in and environments stretching across saline waters, two experiments were carried out in the Research Farm of the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Iran. In the salinity experiments, two populations of Kochia, including the Sabzevar and Indian genotypes, were irrigated with ground water having electrical conductivity (EC) of 5, 15, and 20 dS m(-1). In the irrigation-treatment experiments, two local populations of Kochia, including Sabzevar and Borujerd, were subjected to four irrigation regimes as follows: complete irrigation (100%), 80%, 60%, and 40% of the water requirements using a saline ground water with EC = 5 dS m(-1). Because, the Indian genotype is preferred as an ornamental plant, it is not suitable for increased dry-matter production under high-salinity irrigation water compared to the local genotype (Sabzevar), which is suitable for forage. The Sabzevar genotype produced a large amount of dry matter (7530 kg ha(-1)), even when irrigated with 20 dS m(-1) saline water. The best time for harvesting Kochia for fresh feeding is at the end of flowering (88 days after sowing or DAS), when the biomass is relatively high (6500 kg ha(-1)) and the leaf-to-shoot ratio, as a quality index, is approximately 50%. The highest green-area index was bserved at 15 dS m(-1) and decreased at high levels of salinity. Photosynthesis and transpiration rate did not decline significantly with increasing external salinity four weeks after salinization, but increased in both genotypes at 15 dS m(-1), indicating that the salinity-tolerance threshold of Kochia for both photosynthesis and transpiration reduction is above this salinity level. The Indian genotype also showed a very low seed yield (210 kg ha(-1)) at low levels of salinity, whereas Sabzevar produced 1120 kg ha(-1) seed under the same conditions. Different irrigation regimes had a significant effect on the biomass and seed production of Kochia. The highest forage yield was obtained from complete irrigation, with 11.1 Mg ha(-1) dry material. Sabzevar local population represented a better performance in terms of all characteristics, except accumulation of inflorescence dry matter, and no significant effects were recorded. In conclusion, Kochia's high foliage production capacity in the presence of salinity and limited irrigation make this plant suitable for use as an alternative forage crop in harsh environmental conditions. There is a wide range of intraspecific variation in K. scoparia, but more investigation is needed to introduce it as a cash crop. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Author Address [Kafi, Mohammad; Asadi, Hajar] Ferdowsi Univ Mashhad, Dept Agron & Plant Breeding, Mashhad, Iran. [Ganjeali, Ali] Ferdowsi Univ Mashhad, Res Ctr Plant Sci, Mashhad, Iran. Kafi, M (reprint author), Ferdowsi Univ Mashhad, Dept Agron & Plant Breeding, POB 91775-1163, Mashhad, Iran. m.kafi@um.ac.ir
ISSN 0378-3774
ISBN 0378-3774
Publication Date Jan
Year Published 2010
Volume 97
Issue 1
Beginning Page 139-147
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1016/j.agwat.2009.08.022
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000271797100016
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