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Revista Brasileira de Engenharia Agrícola e Ambiental

Print version ISSN 1415-4366On-line version ISSN 1807-1929


NEVES, Antonia L. R. et al. Gas exchange and mineral concentration in cowpea irrigated with saline water at different stages. Rev. bras. eng. agríc. ambient. [online]. 2009, vol.13, suppl., pp.873-881. ISSN 1415-4366.

The objective of this paper was to evaluate the effect of irrigation with saline water, applied at different development stages of cowpea, on gas exchange, growth and nutrient concentration. The experiment was set up in the field, in a completely randomized block design, with five treatments and five repetitions. The treatments studied were: T1 - Groundwater with electrical conductivity (ECw) of 0.8 dS m-1 during the whole crop cycle (control); T2 - saline water (ECw = 5.0 dS m-1) during the whole crop cycle; T3, T4 and T5 - saline water from 0 to 22nd day after sowing (DAS), from the 23rd to the 42nd DAS and from the 43rd to 62nd DAS, respectively. The plants of T3, T4 and T5 were irrigated with groundwater in the remaining stages of the crop cycle. During the crop cycle, the gas exchange in leaves, dry mass production and mineral concentrations (Na+, Cl-, K+, Ca2+, N and P) were determined. The treatments T2 and T3, as compared to T1, reduced the net photosynthesis and transpiration, the absolute and relative growth rates, and caused an increase in Na+ and Cl- concentrations. However, in the plants belonging to the T3 treatment, recovery was observed for all these variables. The changes in Na+ and Cl- concentration in plants of T4 and T5 were not sufficient to provoke significant effects in gas exchange and on plant growth.

Keywords : Vigna unguiculata; salinity; irrigation; mineral nutrition.

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