Submitted to: Journal of Irrigation and Drainage
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2008
Publication Date: 10/22/2008
Publication URL: http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/53102000/pdf_pubs/P2269.pdf
Citation: Unlukara, A., Kurunc, A., Kesmez, G.D., Yurtseven, E., Suarez, D.L. 2008. Effects of salinity on eggplant (Solanum Melongena L.) growth and evapotranspiration. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage. Available at: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/121457294/ Interpretive Summary: Eggplant is an important arid zone vegetable crop. We examined the impact of irrigation water salinity (5 salinity levels) on plant growth, fruit yield, water use and minimal accumulation in the leaves and fruit. Eggplant was moderately sensitive to salinity with a yield loss starting below 1.5 dS/m electrical conductivity of the irrigation water and a 4.4% yield loss for each unit increase in electrical conductivity. Water consumption and water use efficiency (unit of yield/unit of water consumed) decreased with increasing salinity. These results indicate that water application for eggplant can be reduced under saline conditions due to reduced crop consumption of water. The information is useful to farm advisors and irrigation management specialists.
Technical Abstract: The effects of irrigation water salinity on eggplant growth, yield, water consumption and mineral matter accumulation in leaves and fruits were investigated with a greenhouse experiment. For this purpose, five saline irrigation waters with electrical conductivities of 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 5.0, 7.0 dS/m and tap water as a control treatment were utilized. Throughout the experiment, the amounts of irrigation water to be applied were determined based on the weight changes of each pot. After irrigation the amount of drainage water volume was measured in drain pans placed underneath each pot. We calculated the plant water consumption from the water budget information. Threshold soil salinity and slope values of the yield response to soil salinity level were determined as < 1.5 dS/m and 4.4 respectively for fruit yield and 6.7 dS/m and 3.7 for the vegetative dry weight. The fruit yield results revealed that eggplant was moderately sensitive to salinity. Plant water consumption and water use efficiency decreased with increasing salinity. The crop yield coefficient, (Ky) was 2.3. Salinity caused a decrease in K content, and increased Cl, content of leaves. Although mineral concentration of the leaves did respond to increased mineral concentration of irrigation water, mineral concentration of fruits did not.