Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 24, 2007
Publication Date: February 9, 2007
Citation: Suarez, D.L., Grieve, C.M. 2007. Response of strawberry cvs. Ventana and Camarosa to salinity and specific ion composition of irrigation water. Meeting Abstract. In: Proceedings of the 2007 North American Strawberry Symposium, held in Ventura Beach, CA. February 9-12, 2007 page 171-172. Technical Abstract: Strawberry is considered to be one of the most salt sensitive of all crops. Strawberries grown in southern and central California are located primarily in the coastal valleys. There is recent interest in developing production in inland valleys, due to their potential for early market production. Growers in the coastal valleys are facing decreasing water quality for irrigation and potential growers in the inland valleys do not have high quality water available for irrigation. In a preliminary greenhouse experiment we observed that at equal osmotic pressures, the cultivars Ventana and Camarosa (obtained courtesy of Sierra Cascade Nursery) both produced lower yields with chloride-dominated irrigation waters, as compared to sulfate dominated waters. In a subsequent outdoor experiment (funded by the California Strawberry Commission) we utilized sandtanks of 202 cm long and 82 cm wide. We planted one row of each cultivar in each tank, with a plant spacing in the row of 25 cm. The experiments consisted of four replicated treatments differing in ion composition, 1) NaCl, 2) Cl salts where Ca=3x Mg=2x Na, 3) SO4 salts where Ca=3x Mg=2x Na, and 4) Na2SO4, all added to a complete nutrient solution. We used three salinity levels with osmotic potentials of -0.05, -0.10 and -0.15 MPa, as well as non saline controls. We irrigated twice daily in the well drained loam sand to maintain soil salinity equal to irrigation water salinity. Ion composition of the irrigation water was routinely determined throughout the experiment. Leaves and fruit were sampled for mineral analysis and cumulative berry yield was recorded as a function of thermal time. As expected, Ventana outyielded Camarosa in the controls with a fresh marketable berry production of 1200 g per plant. At an osmotic potential of -0.05 MPa, all treatments resulted in reduction in marketable yield for both cultivars. Across salinity treatments for Ventana we obtained the following yield ranking: Mixed cation SO4 > Na2SO4 > NaCl and mixed cation Cl salt composition. For Camarosa the relative yield ranking was: Mixed cation Cl > Na2SO4 = mixed cation SO4 > NaCl. At -0.15 MPa both chloride-dominated treatments were lethal to both cultivars. Based on leaf and fruit analyses we conclude that strawberry is a weak sodium accumulator. In the second year of the study we are currently evaluating the same cultivars and irrigation water compositions at osmotic potentials of -0.03, -0.07 and -0.12 MPa.