Date palm tree tolerance of salinity in irrigation water

This study was conducted in private Date palm farm at Tajoura, located 20 Km east of Tripoli.

The study was conducted on varieties of dates widly spread in the coastal region of Libya, namely: Alhura, Albrunsi, Albayoudhi and Attabouni. The trees were 20-30 years old and grew under flood irrigation extracted from wells which were polluted by sea water intrusion, the salinity was about 5000 ppm of total soluble salts.

The objective of the study was to determine the concentrations of chlorides K, Na and other nutrients, studying concentration of chloride and sodium in leaflets and spines in these cultivars.

Four date palm trees were selected from each cultivar, leaflets and spines were collected from these palms. Elements were analyzed and results indicated that the salinity affected the concentration of the different elements in all cultivars. Chloride, sodium and potassium were increased in concentration greatly.

The concentration of chlorides, sodium and potasium in the spines were 1.06%, 0.5% and 1.08 respectively. Regarding leaflets, the concentration of Cl, Na and K were 0.79%, 0.13% and 0.44%, respectively. It is clear the concentration of these elements in the spine is higher than those in the leaflets, indicating that spines were a sink for chloride accumulation.

Samples of soil and water of the same farm were analyzed and total salinity and electrical conductance (EC) were determined. Results revealed that both water and soil were highly saline since it reached (5000 ppm and in soil was between 0.71 to 1.56 millimoz\cm). Results indicated that increase of salinity lead to the increase in content of leaflets and spine in Cl, Na and K. increase is more important in spines than in leaflets as it revealed that Cl was accumulated more than Na especially in spines than in leaflet.

This great accumulation of Cl, Na and K is attributed to the fact that palm trees work to adjust the osmosis giving them great capacity to tolerate salinity.

Mohamed M Ben Ismail and Saaeda A. Dagheem
College of Agriculture, University of Tripoli.
Tripoli, Libya

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