Salinity Interactions with Other Abiotic and Biotic Stresses in Citrus

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  • 1 University of Florida, IFAS, Citrus Research and Education Center, 700 Experiment Station Road, Lake Alfred, FL 33850.
  • 2 ARO, Gilat Experiment Station, Mobile Post Negev, 85280 Israel.

Multiple stresses almost always have synergistic effects on plants. In citrus, there are direct and indirect interactions between salinity and other physical abiotic stresses like poor soil drainage, drought, irradiance, leaf temperature, and atmospheric evaporative demand. In addition, salinity interacts with biotic pests and diseases including root rot (Phytophthora spp.), nematodes, and mycorrhizae. Improving tree water relations through optimum irrigation/drainage management, maintaining nutrient balances, and decreasing evaporative demand can alleviate salt injury and decrease toxic ion accumulation. Irrigation with high salinity water not only can have direct effects on root pathogens, but salinity can also predispose citrus rootstocks to attack by root rot and nematodes. Rootstocks known to be tolerant to root rot and nematode pests can become more susceptible when irrigated with high salinity water. In addition, nematodes and mycorrhizae can affect the salt tolerance of citrus roots and may increase chloride (Cl-) uptake. Not all effects of salinity are negative, however, as moderate salinity stress can reduce physiological activity and growth, allowing citrus seedlings to survive cold stress, and can even enhance flowering after the salinity stress is relieved.

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Contributor Notes

To whom reprint requests should be addressed; e-mail: jmsn@crec.ifas.ufl.edu
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