Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Summary A field study was conducted on cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. c.v. Acala SJ-2) to investigate the effects of soil salinity on the responses of stress indices derived from canopy temperature, leaf diffusion resistance and leaf water potential. The four salinity treatments used in this study were obtained by mixtures of aqueduct and well water to provide mean soil water electrical conductivities of 17, 27, 32 and 38 dS/m in the upper 0.6 m of soil profile. The study was conducted on a sandy loam saline-alkali soil in the lower San Joaquin Valley of California on 30 July 1981, when the soil profile was adequately irrigated to remove any interference of soil matric potential on the stress measurements. Measurements of canopy temperature, leaf water potential and leaf diffusion resistance were made hourly throughout the day. Crop water stress index (CWSI) estimates derived from canopy temperature measurements in the least saline treatment had values similar to those found for cotton grown under minimum salinity profiles. Throughout the course of the day the treatments affected CWSI values with the maximum differences occurring in mid-afternoon. Salinity induced differences were also evident in the leaf diffusion resistance and leaf water potential measurements. Vapor pressure deficit was found to indicate the evaporative demand at which cotton could maintain potential water use for the various soil salinity levels studied. At vapor pressure deficits greater than 5 kPa, cotton would appear “stressed” at in situ soil water electrical conductivities exceeding 15 dS/m. The CWSI was as sensitive to osmotic stress as other, more traditional plant measures, provided a broader spatial resolution and appeared to be a practical tool for assessing osmotic stress occurring within irrigated cotton fields.
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