Production of the Forage Halophyte Atriplex lentiformis on Reverse Osmosis Brine
AuthorSoliz, Deserié H.
AdvisorGlenn, 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.
AbstractThroughout the arid and semi-arid regions, researchers have been looking at different ways to deal with the salinity problem of the soil and water as well as feed for the livestock. Study 1 focused on a pilot project conducted in an irrigation district in Marana, AZ, USA, looking at using Reverse Osmosis (RO) concentrate on Atriplex lentiformis (quailbush) and then harvesting the plant to be tested for its possible use as a supplement in feed for livestock. Three irrigation treatments were tested based on the potential evapotranspiration rate (ET(o)): (1) plots irrigated at ET(o) adjusted daily via an on-site micrometeorology station; (2) plots irrigated at 1.5 ET(o) adjusted daily; (3) plots irrigated at a constant rate throughout the year based on the mean of annual ET(o). The plants produced 15-24 tons ha⁻¹ year⁻¹ of biomass and could be irrigated at the rate of ET(o), ca. 2 m yr⁻¹ at this location. It was concluded that irrigation of halophyte forage crops provide a viable strategy for extending water supplies and disposing of saline water in arid-zone irrigation districts. Study 2 focused on a field data from Study 1 and two greenhouse experiments. The greenhouse experiments were conducted in 2007 and 2010. The 2010 greenhouse trials, under well-watered conditions, showed that the apparent zero-point-salinity for yield was 47.3 g L⁻¹ TDS. An additional greenhouse experiment was conducted in which plants in sealed pots were grown to the wilting point on a single application of water. The experiment was conducted at different salinities to see if salinity and water stress were additive factors in reducing yield and Water Use Efficiency (WUE). To the contrary, yield and WUE actually increased as a function of salinity, perhaps due to conversion from C3 to C4 photosynthesis over the salinity range (noted in other studies with A. lentiformis). We conclude that xerohalophytes such as A. lentiformis could greatly extend the useful range of salinities under which forage crops can be grown in arid-zone irrigation districts.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Soil, Water & Environmental Science