PloS one

Soil Salt Distribution and Tomato Response to Saline Water Irrigation under Straw Mulching.

PMID 27806098


To investigate better saline water irrigation scheme for tomatoes that scheduling with the compromise among yield (Yt), quality, irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE) and soil salt residual, an experiment with three irrigation quotas and three salinities of irrigation water was conducted under straw mulching in northern China. The irrigation quota levels were 280 mm (W1), 320 mm (W2) and 360 mm (W3), and the salinity levels were 1.0 dS/m (F), 3.0 dS/m (S1) and 5.0 dS/m (S2). Compared to freshwater, saline water irrigations decreased the maximum leaf area index (LAIm) of tomatoes, and the LAIm presented a decline tendency with higher salinity and lower irrigation quota. The best overall quality of tomato was obtained by S2W1, with the comprehensive quality index of 3.61. A higher salinity and lower irrigation quota resulted in a decrease of individual fruit weight and an increase of the blossom-end rot incidence, finally led to a reduction in the tomato Yt and marketable yield (Ym). After one growth season of tomato, the mass fraction of soil salt in plough layer under S2W1 treatment was the highest, and which presented a decline trend with an increasing irrigation quota. Moreover, compared to W1, soil salts had a tendency to move to the deeper soil layer when using W2 and W3 irrigation quota. According to the calculation results of projection pursuit model, S1W3 was the optimal treatment that possessed the best comprehensive benefit (tomato overall quality, Yt, Ym, IWUE and soil salt residual), and was recommended as the saline water irrigation scheme for tomatoes in northern China.