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Publication Type J
Authors Pearlstein, S. L., R. S. Felger, E. P. Glenn, J. Harrington, K. A. Al-Ghanem and S. G. Nelson
Title Nipa (Distichlis palmeri): A perennial grain crop for saltwater irrigation
Source Journal of Arid Environments
Author Keywords Halophyte Hypersaline Hypoxic Non-tillage agriculture Relative growth rates Seawater crops phragmites-australis poaceae colorado river salt tolerance salinity tolerance water halophytes growth chloridoideae saltgrass spicata
Abstract The perennial saltgrass nipa (Distichlis palmeri, Poaceae) is endemic to northern Gulf of California tidal marshes flooded with hypersaline (38-42 gL(-1)) seawater. Nipa was a wild harvest staple of the Cocopah people of the Rio Colorado delta. We investigated the physiology, anatomy, chromosome number, and agronomic potential of nipa as a global food crop. Nipa seeds had 60-93% germination on salinities ranging from 0 to 30 gL(-1). Relative Growth Rates (RGR) on both flooded and aerobic conditions remained above 4% d(-1) up to 30 gL(-1), about half the RGR on freshwater. Nipa grain (caryopses) had 7-8% protein, 8% sugar and 79% total digestible carbohydrates (mostly starch) and only 2% ash and 8% fiber, equal to conventional grains in apparent nutritional value. Shoots were low in ash and sodium, and compared favorably to alfalfa forage in protein, digestible carbohydrates and energy contents. Mature female stands in the Colorado River delta produced an estimated 1.25 tha(-1) of grain, but over two years in the greenhouse only partial flowering was observed. Nevertheless, D. palmeri appears to be worth developing as a perennial grain and forage crop, especially for salinized, flooded soils. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Author Address [Pearlstein, S. L.; Felger, R. S.; Glenn, E. P.; Nelson, S. G.] Univ Arizona, Environm Res Lab, Tucson, AZ 85756 USA. [Felger, R. S.] Sky Isl Alliance, Tucson, AZ 85717 USA. [Felger, R. S.] Univ Arizona, Univ Arizona Herbarium, Tucson, AZ 85721 USA. [Harrington, J.] Colorado State Univ, Dept Soil & Crop Sci, Ft Collins, CO 80523 USA. [Al-Ghanem, K. A.] Alkharj Univ, Coll Sci & Humanity Studies, Alkharj 11942, Saudi Arabia. Pearlstein, SL (reprint author), Univ Arizona, Environm Res Lab, 2601 E Airport Dr, Tucson, AZ 85756 USA susannap@email.arizona.edu; eglenn@Ag.Arizona.Edu
ISSN 0140-1963
ISBN 0140-1963
29-Character Source Abbreviation J. Arid. Environ.
Publication Date Jul
Year Published 2012
Volume 82
Beginning Page 60-70
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2012.02.009
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000303549500007
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