Article history: Alternative water sources for irrigation are needed to be found, as agriculture is currently using the 70% Received 30 March 2016 of total freshwater. Seawater use for growing crops has long been studied; while an agriculture based on Received in revised form 13 June 2016 pure seawater is currently impossible, seawater hydroponics may be viable, not aggravating salinization Accepted 18 June 2016 problems in soils. This work aimed at assessing the possibility of growing lettuce, chard and chicory with Available online 9 July 2016 3 seawater and freshwater blends (i.e. 5%–10%–15% of seawater). We investigated: i) crops growth, water consumptions, water use efﬁciency (WUE), water productivity (WP); ii) photosynthetic parameters; iii) Keywords: principal mineral elements, soluble sugars and phenolics concentration. Lettuce productivity was neg- Saline agriculture atively affected by 10% and 15% of seawater, whereas chard and chicory’s growth were not affected by WUE any blend. Interestingly, water consumptions dropped and WUE signiﬁcantly upturned in every tested Biofortiﬁcation crop accordingly with increased seawater concentrations. Leaf concentration of Na and of some other Lettuce Chard ions increased. We concluded that certain amounts of seawater can be practically used in hydroponics, Chicory allowing freshwater saving and increasing certain mineral
Agricultural Water Management – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2016
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