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Four clones of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehn. (4543, 4544, 4573, and 4590) and one clone of E. rudis Endl. (4501) were grown in greenhouse sand cultures irrigated with waters designed to simulate saline drainage waters present in the San Joaquin Valley of California, and compositions that would result from further concentration of the waters. The drainage waters are typically high in Na+, SO4 2-, Cl-, and Mg2+. Electrical conductivities of the solutions were 2, 12, and 28 dS·m-1. Ion uptake and distribution patterns in above-ground components were studied in members of these clones grown under treatment for 7 weeks. Results indicated the clones could be separated into two distinct groups by significant differences in leaf-ion relations. Group 1 clones 4543, 4544, and 4573 accumulated less Na+ and more Ca2+ and Cl- in leaves than group 2 clones, 4501 and 4590. Group 2 clones accumulated Na+ under low salinity, but apparently possessed some mechanism for restricting Na+ accumulation by the leaves that was activated as salinity increased. Leaf and stem Cl- concentrations tended to be lower in all clones grown at 28 dS·m-1 than at 2 dS·m-1, despite increases in Cl- concentration in the irrigation waters. Under saline conditions, K+ and P were preferentially accumulated in the youngest leaves in the upper portion of the canopy, whereas Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ were retained in the older leaves.

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Two cultivars of Matthiola incana (L.) R. Br. (`Cheerful White' and `Frolic Carmine') were grown in greenhouse sand cultures to determine the effect of salt stress on growth, ion relations, and flower quality. Two types of irrigation waters, differing in ion composition, were prepared to simulate saline wastewaters commonly present in two inland valley locations in California. Solution ICV was typical of saline tailwaters frequently found in the Imperial and Coachella Valleys and contained Cl, Na+, SO4 2–, Mg2+, Ca2+, predominating in that order. Solution SJV was dominated by Na+ and SO4 2– and simulated saline drainage effluents often present in the San Joaquin Valley. Five treatments of each salinity type were imposed; each was replicated three times. Electrical conductivities of the irrigation waters (ECi) were 2.5, 5, 8, 11, and 14 dS·m–1. Plant heights were determined weekly. Seedlings were sampled for ion analysis 9 weeks after planting. Flowering stems were harvested when about 50% of the florets in the inflorescence were open. Total stem length, weight and diameter, numbers of florets and buds, and inflorescence length were measured at final harvest. All plants remained healthy throughout the experimental period with no visible signs of ion toxicity or deficiency. Although length of the flowering stems decreased with increasing salinity, stems were of marketable quality even at the highest salinity level. Mineral ion composition of the vegetative tissues generally reflected ion concentrations in the irrigation waters. Shoot Mg2+ and Cl were higher and shoot Na+ lower in seedlings irrigated with ICV waters than with SJV waters. Shoot P was reduced over control levels once salinity exceeded 11 dS·m–1. Both cultivars were highly selective for K+ over Na + and selectivity coefficients (SK, Na) increase about 60% as salinity increased from 2.5 to 14 dS·m–1. This study illustrates that commercially acceptable cut flowers of stock may be produced under irrigation with moderately saline wastewaters.

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Agroforestry plantations offer environmentally acceptable strategies for the reuse of saline drainage waters. Tree species suitable for use in such systems must be selected for survival and sustained growth under highly saline conditions. In this screening trial, four clones of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehn. (4543, 4544, 4573, and 4590) and one clone of E. rudis Endl. (4501) were grown in greenhouse sand cultures irrigated with sodium sulfate–dominated waters. Solution compositions were prepared to simulate saline drainage waters typically found in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Electrical conductivities of the solutions ranged from 2 to 28 dS·m–1. Treatments were replicated three times. All plants survived and were harvested after 7 weeks under saline treatment. Plant height was measured weekly and shoot biomass was determined at final harvest. The salinity levels that resulted in a 50% reduction in biomass production (C50) were 16.4 (4573), 17.1 (4543), 17.7 (4544), 29.0 (4590), and 30.0 dS·m–1 (4501). Over the range of salinities from 4 to 20 dS·m–1, clones 4501, 4590, and 4573 generally maintained higher relative growth rates (RGR) than did clones 4544 and 4543. However, at the highest salinity, RGRs of clones 4501, 4544, and 4573 were significantly greater than those of clones 4543 and 4590. Assessed on the basis of biomass production, clones 4501 (E. rudis) and 4590 (E. camaldulensis) showed exceptional potential for use in agroforestry systems where the saline drainage waters are sodium sulfate–dominated.

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Saline agricultural drainage water may be used as a resource to grow high value horticultural crops and reduce the volume of drainage for eventual disposal. To explore reuse options the effects of salinity and timing of application were tested on selected leafy vegetables grown in 24 sand culture plots in Riverside, Calif. The leafy winter vegetables included `Ruby Red Chard' Swiss chard [Beta vulgaris L. var. flavescens (Lam.) Lam.], `Space' spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.), `Vitamin Green' salad greens [Brassica rapa L. (Narinosa Group)], `Red Giant' mustard greens [Brassica juncea L. (Czerniak)], pac choi [Brassica rapa L. (Chinensis Group)], `Winterbor' kale [Brassica oleracea L. (Acephala Group)], tatsoi [Brassica rapa L. (Narinosa Group)], `Salad King' curly endive (Cichorium endivia L.), and `Red Preco No. 1' radicchio (Cichorium intybus L.). All vegetables were planted at the same time and irrigated initially with tap water and nutrients. At 3 and 7 weeks after seeding (application times), six salinity treatments were initiated by adding salts to the irrigation water to represent the chemical compositions of drainage waters found typically in the San Joaquin Valley, Calif. The six salinity treatments had electrical conductivities of 3 (control), 7, 11, 15, 19, or 23 dS·m-1. A randomized complete block design was used with (6 salinities × 2 application times × 2 replications). Within each plot a 1.5-m row of each of the nine vegetables was grown as split plots. Salinity reduced fresh weight (FW) yields of all species. Salt stress applied at 3 weeks after seeding reduced FWs for seven of the nine vegetables compared to salination at 7 weeks. Analyses of salt tolerance curves, maximum yields, and the point of 50% yield reduction (C50) were conducted. Greens produced the highest biomass at 874 g/plant, but was the most affected by application time. Swiss chard and radicchio were not significantly affected by timing of salinity application, and Swiss chard was the most salt tolerant overall. Greens, kale, pac choi, and to a lesser extent, tatsoi, have potential as winter-grown, leafy vegetables in drainage water reuse systems.

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Performance of `Kerman' pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) trees on three rootstocks (P. atlantica Desf., P. integerrima Stewart and `UCB-1', a P. atlantica × P. integerrima hybrid) was evaluated with 2-year-old trees grown in sand-tank lysimeters under combined SO4 2- and Cl- salinity and boron (B) stress for 6 months. Four salinity treatments were imposed by irrigating the plants with water at electrical conductivity (ECiw) of 3.5, 8.7,12, or 16 dS·m-1 each containing B at 10 mg·L-1. Growth of `Kerman' was evaluated based on increase in total leaf area, increase in trunk diameter, and total above-ground biomass production. All growth parameters decreased as salinity increased, but were not significant until ECiw exceeded 12 dS·m-1. However, growth of `Kerman' on P. atlantica and `UCB-1' was considerably better than on P. integerrima at 16 dS·m-1. The onset and severity of foliar injury differed among scions and treatments and was attributed primarily to B toxicity, rather than the effects of salinity. Concentrations of B in injured leaf tissue ranged from 1000 to 2500 mg·kg-1. Leaf injury decreased with increasing salinity, although leaf B was not significantly reduced suggesting an internal synergistic interaction between B and other mineral nutrients. However for P. vera on P. integerrima, the highest level of salinity produced the greatest injury, possibly as a combination of B plus Cl- and/or Na+ toxicity. Leaf transpiration, stomatal conductance, and chlorophyll concentration of P. vera, determined by steady-state porometry, were also reduced to a greater degree by combined salinity and B when budded on P. integerrima than on the other two rootstocks.

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To explore the possibility that saline wastewaters may be used to grow commercially acceptable floriculture crops, a study was initiated to determine the effects of salinity on two statice cultivars. Limonium perezii (Stapf) F. T. Hubb. `Blue Seas' and L. sinuatum (L.) Mill `American Beauty' were grown in greenhouse sand cultures irrigated with waters prepared to simulate saline drainage waters typically present in the western San Joaquin Valley (SJV) of California. Seven salinity treatments were imposed on 3-week-old seedlings. Electrical conductivities of the irrigation waters (EC) were 2.5 (control), 7, 11, 15, 20, 25, and 30 dS·m–1. Vegetative shoots were sampled for biomass production and ion analysis ten weeks after application of stress. Flower stem numbers, length, and weight were determined at harvest. Stem length of L. perezii was significantly reduced when irrigation water salinity exceeded a threshold of 2.5 dS·m–1. Salt tolerance threshold based on stem length for L. sinuatum was 7 dS m-1. The species exhibited significant differences in shoot-ion relations which appear to be related to differences in salt tolerance. Sodium, K+, Mg2+, and total-P were more strongly accumulated in the leaves of L. sinuatum than L. perezii. Both species accumulated K+ in preference to Na+, but selectivity for K+ over Na+ was significantly higher in L. sinuatum than in the more salt-sensitive L. perezii. Chloride concentration in L. sinuatum leaves increased significantly as salinity increased, whereas the 20-fold increase in substrate-Cl had no effect on leaf-Cl in L. perezii. Both Limonium species completed their life cycles at salt concentrations exceeding 30 dS·m–1, a character associated with halophytic plants. Maximum growth of each species, however, occurred under relatively low salt stress, and steadily declined as external salinity increased. Based on this crop productivity response, L. perezii should be rated as sensitive and L sinuatum as moderately tolerant.

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