Production of Pityrocarpa moniliformis (Benth.) Luckow & R.W. Jobson (Fabaceae) seedlings irrigated with saline water
ABSTRACT Saline irrigation water at high levels causes disturbance in the growth of more sensitive plants. The objective of this research was to evaluate the initial growth of Pityrocarpa moniliformis seedlings under different electrical conductivity in irrigation water through physiological and biochemical analyses. The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse with five water electrical conductivities (0.5, 2.0, 4.0, 6.0 and 8.0 dS m-1) and four repetitions of 20 plants each, arranged in a randomized block design. Application of the treatments with irrigation water containing NaCl began at 30 days after sowing. To determine the behaviour of the species, the following variables were analysed: stem diameter, plant height, number of leaves, leaf area, Dickson quality index, shoot dry mass, root dry mass and total dry mass, as well as the biochemical variables, such as the concentrations of total soluble sugars, free proline and chlorophylls a and b. The increase in irrigation water salinity hampered the growth of P. moniliformis seedlings, with electrical conductivity of 0.5 dS m-1 being the limit for maximum production. The results also indicated that the deleterious effects of salt stress on P. moniliformis seedlings variables increase in concentrations of proline, total soluble sugars and betaine glycine.