Water requirements for cultivating Salicornia bigelovii Torr. with seawater on sand in a coastal desert environment

Edward Glenn, Seiichi Miyamoto, David Moore, J. Jed Brown, T. Lewis Thompson, Paul W Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The forage and oilseed halophyte, Salicornia bigelovii Torr., was grown in gravity-drained lysimeters set in open plots of the same crop over two seasons in a coastal desert environment in Sonora, Mexico. The lysimeters were irrigated daily with seawater (40 g l-1 salts) at rates ranging from 46-225% of potential evaporation. Biomass and seed yields increased with increasing irrigation depth over the range of treatment. Biomass yields ranged from 13.6-23.1 t DM ha-1, equivalent to conventional forage crops, on seasonal water application depths of 2.3-3.8 m, but were markedly lower at lower irrigation depths. Increasing the irrigation depth lowered the soil solution salinity, resulting in greater growth and water use, and hence leaching fractions that were nearly even over irrigation treatments, averaging 0.5. Evapo-transpiration rose in direct proportion to the irrigation depth. Potential evaporation was estimated by site pan evaporation and by the Blaney-Criddle and Penman models using climatological data; the methods agreed within 15%. The ratio of evapo-transpiration to potential evaporation increased over the growing season and approached 1.5 by pan on the highest irrigation treatment due to the combined effects of high transpiration and high evaporation from the permanently moist soil surface. The best field predictor of biomass yield was the salinity of the soil moisture in the top 15 cm of soil profile, which constitutes that root zone for this crop. Root zone salinity must be kept at 70-75 g l-1 for high yields. Although irrigation and drainage requirements were high compared to conventional crops, seawater irrigation appears to be feasible in medium sand and could augment crop production along coastal deserts. The possibility of using this crop for animal production is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-730
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1997

Fingerprint

Salicornia bigelovii
water requirement
deserts
seawater
desert
irrigation
sand
evaporation
transpiration
water
crop
crops
lysimeters
salinity
lysimeter
biomass
rhizosphere
irrigation and drainage
halophyte
forage crops

Keywords

  • Desert
  • Halophytes
  • Irrigation
  • Seawater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Ecology

Cite this

Water requirements for cultivating Salicornia bigelovii Torr. with seawater on sand in a coastal desert environment. / Glenn, Edward; Miyamoto, Seiichi; Moore, David; Brown, J. Jed; Thompson, T. Lewis; Brown, Paul W.

In: Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 36, No. 4, 08.1997, p. 711-730.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Glenn, Edward ; Miyamoto, Seiichi ; Moore, David ; Brown, J. Jed ; Thompson, T. Lewis ; Brown, Paul W. / Water requirements for cultivating Salicornia bigelovii Torr. with seawater on sand in a coastal desert environment. In: Journal of Arid Environments. 1997 ; Vol. 36, No. 4. pp. 711-730.
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