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Use of Lower Quality Water in Irrigated Agriculture and Effects on Forages with Productive Potential in Semiarid Regions: a Review

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Abstract

In the agricultural sector, using lower quality water sources has increased in irrigation practice. Thus, this review summarizes the consequences of using brackish and/or saline water in irrigated agriculture, highlighting some effects on soil and plants in general. Water quality for irrigation and the salinity tolerance threshold of forage species with productive potential for semiarid regions are also discussed. Between January and June 2022, a systematic search was carried out for studies that evaluated the quality of water for irrigation, the effects of using water with excess salts on the soil and on plants in general, and on forage species with productive potential in semiarid regions. The databases consulted were: ScienceDirect, Scopus, Wiley Online Library, Web of Science, Taylor and Francis, and Scholar Google. A total of 1567 studies were found. Of these, 200 studies were reviewed and 154 were used because they met the review objective. The forage plants reported here have salinity tolerance ranging from low to moderate. The management adopted, as well as the species used, are factors that influence the performance of the crop under stress. Although they are widely cultivated in arid and semiarid regions of the world, few studies still show the salinity threshold of these crops, mainly for forage cactus, sunflower, and pigeon pea species. Therefore, it is essential to carry out more research on this topic in order to provide information that improves the management of production systems in saline environments around the world.

Highlights

  • Forage species have tolerance ranging from low to moderate.

  • The management adopted and the species influence the performance of the crop under stress.

  • Sorghum and millet are the most tolerant species studied.

  • Some practices lessen the effects of salinity on forage plants.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) and the Research Support Foundation of the State of Pernambuco (FACEPE) and the Agrometeorology Group of the Brazilian Semi-arid Region – GAS

Funding

This work was supported by the Research Support Foundation of the State of Pernambuco [APQ-0428–5.01/21]; and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development [402622/2021–9 and 309558/2021–2].

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Contributions

Araújo Júnior, G.N.: investigation, methodology, conceptualization, writing—original draft preparation, revision, and editing; Morais, J.E.F.: conceptualization, writing – revision and editing; Souza, L.S.B.: supervision, writing – revision and editing; Steidle Neto, A.J.: writing – revision; Araujo, G.G.L.: writing – revision; Silva, T.G.F.: supervision; writing – revision and editing, financing acquisition.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to George do Nascimento Araújo Júnior.

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do Nascimento Araújo Júnior, G., de Morais, J.E.F., de Souza, L.S.B. et al. Use of Lower Quality Water in Irrigated Agriculture and Effects on Forages with Productive Potential in Semiarid Regions: a Review. Environ. Process. 10, 44 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40710-023-00655-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40710-023-00655-6

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