أنت هنا

Multidisciplinary Studies on a Pilot Coastal Desert Modular Farm Growing Salicornia bigelovii in United Arab Emirates

Global population growth is putting severe pressure on agricultural production, since food supplies need to increase by 50–70% to meet expected future demands.‎ Arable land that is used to grow crops for food is in short supply, and freshwater is being depleted.‎ One way to increase production is to utilize marginal land and water resources such as coastal desert areas and seawater.‎ Aquaculture effluents enriched in nutrients can be utilized to irrigate highly salt-tolerant plants such as halophytes which constitute the best candidates for the development of biosaline agriculture.‎ Among the halophytic crops that have high potential to be grown with seawater and can be economically viable are mangroves and Salicornia species.‎ In particular, Salicornia bigelovii (dwarf glasswort‏) is a halophyte that grows in salty water and can be utilized in multiple ways.‎ Since 2015, a seawater-based system has been implemented in a coastal desert area in Umm Al Quwain in the United Arab Emirates, exploring the growth potential of four high-yielding S.‎ bigelovii genotypes using four saline water treatments (seawater;‎ canal water which is the drainage water coming from a marine research station that flows into a mangrove area;‎ and aquaculture effluents from tilapia and sherry farming) and two types of irrigation system: bubblers and open pipes.‎ A multidisciplinary study was conducted to examine several soil and water attributes, various growth parameters of S.‎ bigelovii genotypes, the seed oil content, and the profitability of the system.‎ Results showed that by selecting the suitable S.‎ bigelovii germplasm combined with appropriate water and soil management practices, proper growth of salicornia plantation could be achieved in a coastal desert ecosystem.‎ However, continuous exploration of the long-term environmental impact of implementing saline water resources and improvement of the economic sustainability of such biosaline production systems are needed.‎

Authors: 
Dionysia Angeliki Lyra, R.‎ M.‎ S.‎ Al-Shihi, R.‎ Nuqui, S.‎ Μ.‎ Robertson, A.‎ Christiansen, S.‎ Ramachandran, S.‎ Ismail, A.‎ M.‎ Al-Zaabi
Year: 
۲۰۱۹
Publication type: 
Scientific Paper
Publication Source: 
Ecophysiology, Abiotic Stress Responses and Utilization of Halophytes
Page Number: 
pp 327-345