Effects of saline irrigation water and heat waves on potato production in an arid environment

Amnon Bustan, Moshe Sagi, Yoel De Malach, Dov Pasternak

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Scopus citations


    Production of spring potato (Solanum tuberosum L. cv. Désiré e) on a deep sandy soil in the central highland of the Negev desert of Israel under drip irrigation with saline water (up to 6.2 dS m-1) was studied in the years 1992-1997. The objective of the study was to determine the effects of saline water irrigation on potato production in an arid environment with special focus on the interactions with weather conditions. Although yields were often high, salinity effects were evident in some years. Thus 1992 and 1996 yields were 6-7 kg m-2 and showed no significant effect of salinity, while a pronounced drop in yield with increasing salinity was observed in 1993 and 1994. Analysis of weather data for 1993-1994 suggests that the decline in yield was due to interactions between saline irrigation and prolonged heat wave events occurring during crop development. Further experimental work (1997) revealed that tuber yield was most sensitive to combined salt and heat stress when heat waves occurred at 40-60 days after emergence. The combined stress apparently leads to the collapse of mechanisms for avoiding salt accumulation in young expanding leaves, resulting in failure of vegetative growth recovery and a consequent reduction in the leaf area index and canopy functioning. The relationship between tuber sink demand and available photoassimilate supply at certain stages of plant development is discussed with reference to the ability of the potato plant to recover from the combined stress.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)275-285
    Number of pages11
    JournalField Crops Research
    Issue number2-3
    StatePublished - 8 Dec 2004


    • Leaf area index
    • Salt stress
    • Sink
    • Solanum tuberosum L.
    • Vapor pressure deficit

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Agronomy and Crop Science
    • Soil Science


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