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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 792: V International Symposium on Irrigation of Horticultural Crops

IRRIGATING TABLE GRAPES IN ARID REGIONS WITH LOW QUALITY WATER: EFFECTS OF SALINITY AND EXCESS BORON

Authors:   A. Ben-Gal, U. Yermiyahu, U. Shani, M. Veste
Keywords:   grapevine, Vitis vinifera, transpiration, growth, yield
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.792.10
Abstract:
Early ripening table grapes are an increasingly economically viable crop in arid and semi-arid regions. Table grape production is particularly attractive in arid regions where cultivation is dependant upon the availability of large amounts of irrigation water. Unfortunately, water resources in such areas are often limited and the salinity of available irrigation water tends to be high. The response of grapevines (Vitis vinifera L. cv. Sugraone) to salinity, excess boron (B) and combinations of the two were studied under controlled conditions in a number of lysimeter, pot and field experiments. In a lysimeter experiment, salinity reduced leaf scale transpiration and photosynthesis and both leaf and whole plant biomass production and (evapo)transpiration were found to be linearly related. Mortality of vines was dynamically associated with salinity level and time. Grapevine response to salinity was observed to involve two mechanisms: (i) a reduction in transpiration and growth which began as soon as salinity was experienced; and (ii) vine mortality which was correlated with salinity level, a sharp increase in Na and Cl content of leaves, and time. At lower salinities, the onset of mortality occurred later and death rates increased as the duration of exposure to salinity increased. For vines grown for four years in pots, B in solution at levels greater than 1.3 mg L-1 caused reduced growth (trunk size), reduced nodal lengths between leaves on branches, and increasing B caused severe visual toxicity symptoms including necrotic leaves. In spite of this, B in solution as high as 3.3 mg L-1 did not lead to reduced biomass production as measured by pruning weights or reduced fruit production as measured via harvest data. Increased salinity caused reduction in B accumulation in the vines.
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