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Rob M. Stevens, Gordon Harvey and Gerry Davies

The effect of foliar salt uptake on potted grapevine growth and ionic composition was investigated in a split plot trial. The main plot was a 2 × 2 factorial consisting of separately irrigating the roots and foliage with nonsaline or saline (25 mm NaCl) solutions. The subplot was a 4 × 2 factorial consisting of four grape (Vitis vinifera) cultivars on their own roots or `Ramsey' (Vitis champini) rootstock. Saline foliar irrigation over 27 weeks reduced total vine growth by 14% while saline root irrigation had no effect. Leaf Na and Cl concentrations were elevated by saline foliar and saline root irrigation. The increases in concentrations with saline foliar irrigation were four times those with saline root irrigation. Leaf K concentration was reduced by saline foliar irrigation and increased by saline root irrigation. With saline irrigation of roots and foliage the Cl and Na levels were highest in the leaves of `Shiraz', but with saline irrigation of only the roots `Sultana' had the higher levels of leaf Cl and `Shiraz' the highest leaf Na. Saline foliar irrigation had no effect on the concentrations of Na, Cl, and K in the roots. In `Sultana', saline foliar irrigation did not affect the leaf concentrations of N, NO3-N, P, Mg, Zn, and Cu. It increased the leaf concentration of Fe, and decreased that of Mn. Rootstock modified the effect of salinity on Fe concentrations. The B concentration was decreased by saline irrigation of either the foliage or the roots, but not by saline irrigation of both. In roots, saline foliar irrigation increased B in own-rooted vines, but not in those on `Ramsey' rootstock.