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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Crop Genetic Improvement and Crop Management in Irrigated Areas Affected by Salinity and Toxic Ions Title: Salinity impact on yield, water use, mineral and essential oil content of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.)

Authors
item Semiz, G -
item Unlukara, A -
item Yurtseven, E -
item Suarez, Donald
item Suarez, Donald
item Telci, I -

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 12, 2012
Publication Date: December 19, 2012
Repository URL: http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/53102000/pdf_pubs/P2402.pdf
Citation: Semiz, G.D., Unlukara, A., Yurtseven, E., Suarez, D.L., Telci, I. 2012. Salinity impact on yield, water use, mineral and essential oil content of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.). Journal of Agricultural Science. 18:177-186.

Interpretive Summary: Fennel is a widely used seasoning and a crop of significant economic value, grown primarily in the Mediterranean region on lands facing salinization due to increasing salinity and scarcity of fresh irrigation water. The study was carried out to determine the effects of salinity on water consumption, plant growth parameters, fresh and seed yields (weight), biomass production, ion accumulation and essential oil content of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.). The experiment was conducted with a fully randomized factorial design with five replications of each treatment. Saline irrigation waters at EC values of 0.25, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 dS.m-1 were prepared using NaCl and CaCl2 salts. Increasing irrigation water salinity led to a decrease in water consumption, plant height, fresh yield, biomass production, seed yield, and Mg accumulation in leaves. We calculated a threshold soil salinity for fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) of 2.6 dS.m-1 in the saturation extract (salinity at which yield starts to decrease) with slope of 4.5% (yield decline per unit increase in EC). Essential oil content Salt stress resulted in relatively small but statistically significant increases in essential oil content under salt stress. These results indicate that fennel is moderately sensitive to salinity and can be grown with most treated municipal wastewaters without expected yield loss. This information is of interest to growers as well as extension specialists and consultants who provide recommendations as to crop selection when irrigating with waters of elevated salinity.

Technical Abstract: The experimental study was carried out to determine the effects of salinity on water consumption, plant height, fresh and seed yields, biomass production, ion accumulation and essential oil content of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) under greenhouse conditions. The experiment was conducted with a fully randomized factorial design with five replications. Saline waters (0.25, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 dS.m-1) were composed using NaCl and CaCl2 salts keeping SAR value under than 1. Increasing salinity levels led to a decrease in water consumption, plant height, fresh yield, biomass production, seed yield, 1000-grain (seed) yield and Mg accumulations in leaves. We calculated a threshold soil salinity for fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) of 2.64 dS.m-1 (salinity at which yield starts to decrease) with slope of 4.5% (yield decline per unit increase in EC). These results suggest that fennel is moderately sensitive to salinity.

Last Modified: 12/17/2014
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