Distichlis spicata - a salt- and drought-tolerant plant species with minimum water requirements for sustainable agriculture in desert regions and biological reclamation of desert saline soils

Mohammad Pessarakli, Kenneth B. Marcum

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Desertification of arable lands due to urbanization, global warming, and low rainfall mandates water conservation and using low-quality/saline waters for irrigation. Use of low-quality irrigation water imposes more stress on plants which are already under stress in these regions. Thus, there is an urgent need for finding salt/drought-tolerant plants to survive under stresses. Since the native plants are growing under such conditions and are adapted to these stresses, they are the most suitable candidates for use under arid regions. If stress-tolerant native species are identi fied, there would be a substantial savings in inputs in using them under stressful conditions. Present studies on saltgrass (Distichlis spicata L.), a euhalophyte, have shown it to have excellent drought/salinity tolerance, making it well adapted to harsh desert conditions, with great potential for use in urban landscape and agricultural settings to combat desertification and reclaim arid saline soils. The objectives of this study were to find the most drought-tolerant saltgrass genotypes for use in arid regions, where limited water supplies coupled with saline soils result in drought/salinity stresses, for use in sustainable desert agriculture, urban landscapes, and in biologically reclaiming desert saline soils. Various saltgrass genotypes were studied to evaluate their growth responses under progressive drought stress. Though all the grasses showed a high level of drought tolerance, there was a wide range of variations observed in their stress tolerance levels. Superior stress-tolerant genotypes were identified which could be recommended for sustainable production under arid regions and combating desertification.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDevelopments in Soil Salinity Assessment and Reclamation
    Subtitle of host publicationInnovative Thinking and Use of Marginal Soil and Water Resources in Irrigated Agriculture
    PublisherSpringer Netherlands
    Pages383-396
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Electronic)9789400756847
    ISBN (Print)9789400756830
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013

    Keywords

    • Arid regions
    • Combating desertification
    • Drought
    • Salinity stress
    • Saltgrass

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
    • Environmental Science(all)
    • Engineering(all)

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