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Use of marginal water for Salicornia bigelovii Torr. Planting in the United Arab Emirates

Freshwater resources are not enough to meet the ever increasing demand of the agriculture sector to feed the growing population. Owing to this reason, agriculture scientists are exploring different ways to use saline water as an alternative source for crops. Samphire ( Salicornia bigelovii Torr.) is one of the best candidates for such plants that can be grown using seawater. It has high culinary value and can be consumed either cooked or raw. The plant can also be used as feed for different domestic animals. Since its seed contains high-quality unsaturated oil (30%) and proteins (40%), it can be used to make biodiesel and as animal feed. At the Dubaibased International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), a fi eld experiment was conducted using fi ve different lines of Salicornia bigelovii irrigated with seawater. In general, all of the Salicornia lines grew well and gave good results. To evaluate their performance, data were recorded on 50 individual plants from each line at maturity. Data on 12 different morphological characteristics of spikes and plants were collected. The range for plant height varies from 49.2 to 63.0 cm. Minimum of 65.8 g and maximum of 91.8 g plant dry weight were recorded. The lowest seed weight per plant was 6.39 g, and the highest was 9.17 g. The results indicate that highly valuable Salicornia can be grown successfully in arid regions using seawater for irrigation.

Authors: 
Shahid, M., Jaradat, A. A., Rao, N. K
Year: 
2013
Publication type: 
Scientific Paper
Publication Source: 
Developments in soil salinity assessment and reclamation
Volume/Chapter/Issue: 
31
Page Number: 
451-808

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