SALINITY AFFECTS GROWTH AND NET GAS EXCHANGE OF CARAMBOLA

in HortScience

Salinity effects on growth and net gas exchange of carambola (Averrhoa carambola L.) examined in were greenhouse culture with ten-month-old seedlings in perlite: peat: sand: pine bark chip medium in 5.1 liter (21 cm top dia.) containers. Treatments of 0.05, 5.1, 9.5, or 13.9 dS·m-1 were obtained by dissolving ca. 0, 2.5, 5.0, or 7.5 g of dehydrated sea salt per liter of rain water and delivered from elevated tanks by gravity to dribble ring emitters in containers via polyethylene and q icro tubing. All plants except control plants received 5.1 dS·m-1 beginning 25 Nov., and concentration was gradually increased for the two highest salinity levels until reaching 9.5 dS·m-1 on 3 Dec. and 13.9 dS·m-1 on 7 Dec. Plants were watered twice weekly until 1 March 1990. Stomatal conductance was determined (LI-COR 1600 steady-state diffusion porometer) on 7 day intervals beginning 24 Nov. Growth was determined as leaf area (LI-COR 3000 area meter), plant dry weight, and trunk diameter. Stomatal conductance declined in all salinity levels to 50% or less of controls by day 12, with a gradual further decline thereafter. Leaf area, plant dry weight, and trunk diameter declined linearly with increased salinity.

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