Water and Salinity Stress



Continually applying salt-laden irrigation water to soils can lead to soil salinization because plants leave most of the salts behind as they uptake water. Osmotic potential energy in saline soils is negative and resists the movement of water toward plant roots. According to the FAO, approximately 3 ha per minute are lost to soil salinization in the world, and 80 million ha have already been lost to soil salinization. Salinity management practices such as leaching water below the root zone are needed to prevent salt accumulation in the root zone. Leaching takes place when irrigation is increased beyond the evapotranspiration requirement. On the other hand, excess water in the soil restricts the movement of oxygen into the soil. Plants require oxygen for the roots as the conduct respiration at night. Insufficient water reduces crop evapotranspiration, and there is generally a linear relationship between percent depletion beyond the management allowed depletion and yield reduction. Crop yield reduction due to water or salt stresses can be quantified by plant stress coefficients, which reflect the plant sensitivity to stress. Water and salinity stress coefficients as well as methods to measure and control salinity are described in this chapter.


Salinity Osmotic potential Salinity stress Leaching fraction Sodicity 

Supplementary material

References and Resources

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agricultural and Biosystems EngineeringUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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