Salt Tolerance and Current Status of the Date Palms in the United Arab Emirates
AuthorAlhammadi, Mohamed Salman
AdvisorGlenn, Edward P.
Committee ChairGlenn, Edward P.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study aimed to address the current status of the United Arab Emirates date palms. The first chapter focused on the development of the date palm sector in the UAE. A huge increase in the date palm number was achieved in the past few decades. In the same time, there are critical issues facing this development, such as water demand, salinity, and Red Palm Weevil. The second chapter is a greenhouse experiment to test the growth of twelve date palm seeds at four NaCl levels, control, 3000, 6000, and 12000 ppm. Optimal growth found at control and 3000 ppm of NaCl. Relative growth rate (RGR), biomass, and NL decreased significantly by increasing salinity; however, no significant differences were observed in the average SGR for any cultivars. Increased NaCl leads to significant decreases in K+, Mg2+, and Ca2+ contents of plants. Na:K ratios were lower in shoots than in roots. Lulu, Fard, Khnaizi, Nabtat Safi, and Razez cultivars showed higher RGR and biomasses whereas Khnaizi, Mesally, and Safri had higher Na:K ratios than other cultivars in the control indicating higher Na+ discriminations from plant parts. The third chapter studied the vegetation change in the eastern region of the UAE. Due to shortage of fresh water resources, the vegetation of the eastern region of the UAE has experienced a series of declines resulting from salinization of groundwater. To assess these changes, field measurements combined with Thematic Mapper (TM) and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) based Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI) were analyzed. Images from two dates, 1987 and 2000 were acquired to enable the computation of the greenness anomalies for three sites in the eastern region, Fujairah, Kalba, and Hatta. The results show an overall increase in the agricultural area, associated with a severe decrease in vegetation greenness and health conditions, particularly in the Kalba study area. The SAVI values decreased with increased soil salinity, permitting the identification of salt-affected areas. Potential areas of further research range from studying the effects of tree spacing and understory crops as immediate and potential solutions to maintain productivity and mitigate the salinity problem.
Degree ProgramSoil, Water and Environmental Science