University of Sussex

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Growing floricultural crops with brackish water

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-08, 16:37 authored by C Cassaniti, D Romano, M E C M Hop, Tim Flowers
In the current review we focus on the opportunity to use brackish water in the cultivation of floricultural plants, plants for which, due to their high economic value, growers have traditionally used good quality water for irrigation. Now, even for these crops the use of alternative water sources for irrigating nursery plants is needed because of the limited supplies of fresh water in many countries; understanding how saline water can be used will also enhance sustainable development in floriculture. While salt stress usually reduces plant growth, any such reduction might not be negative for ornamentals, where shoot vigour is sometime undesirable, although on flower crops salt stress can delay flowering or decrease flower quality characteristics. However, a decrease in growth rate is not enough to characterize the salt tolerance of ornamental plants, but traits like tip and Marginal leaf burn, as consequence of sodium and chlorine accumulation, have to be considered for their effects on aesthetical value. With this in mind, some halophytes should be considered for floriculture because of their ability to cope with saline environments; their potential to tolerate salt is an important factor in reducing production costs. Consequently, the identification of ornamental halophytes is important for producing a commercially acceptable crop when irrigated with brackish waters. Many aspects of a plant's reaction to salt are genetically determined, so selection of suitable genotypes or breeding for salt tolerance in ornamentals are interesting options. Developing salt-tolerant floricultural crops, together with typical management practices that avoid excessive salinity stress in the root media, will provide the grower with economically and environmentally sound wastewater reuse options. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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  • Published


Environmental and Experimental Botany







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  • Evolution, Behaviour and Environment Publications

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