Effects of drip-irrigation regimes with saline water on pepper productivity and soil salinity under greenhouse conditions

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Rameshwaran P., Tepe A., YAZAR A. , Ragab R.

SCIENTIA HORTICULTURAE, vol.199, pp.114-123, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 199
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.scienta.2015.12.007
  • Page Numbers: pp.114-123


The aim of this study was to investigate the response of sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) to saline irrigation water and various irrigation regimes. The experiments were conducted in a greenhouse with two sweet pepper varieties (ONUR F1 and ADA F1) over two cropping seasons: spring and autumn on the Mediterranean coast at Antalya, Turkey. The irrigation regimes comprised four levels of Class A pan evaporation and were applied using a drip irrigation system when evaporation reached a target value of around 10 mm. These four levels represented 0.50, 0.75, 1.00 and 1.25 of Class A pan-evaporation. In each irrigation regime the sweet pepper plants were exposed to four salinity treatments with electrical conductivities of 1.0, 2.5, 3.5 and 6.0 dS m(-1) respectively. The study showed that both pepper varieties generally performed in a similar manner (except in terms of vegetative biomass production). The amount of salt accumulation within the root-zone was higher in spring compared to autumn; and therefore related to the total amount of irrigated water usage between seasons due to climatic variability. Increased salinity induced higher levels of salt accumulation within the pepper plant's root-zone, while an increased amount of saline irrigation water increased the size of the affected layer within the root-zone. Overall, an increased level of salinity alongside increased irrigation considerably depressed both vegetative growth and yield. Higher irrigation water productivities were attained with a regime comprising 0.50 of Class A pan-evaporation and which appeared to fulfil crop water requirements. It was found that sweet pepper varieties ONUR F1 and ADA F1 are moderately sensitive to salinity with a threshold value of 1.43 dS m(-1) and a decreasing slope value of 11.1%. Although both seasons revealed a single salinity response function, there were considerable differences in the actual fresh pepper yield. This study demonstrates that for pepper crops irrigated with saline water (or grown on salt-affected soils), pepper growers must consider the salinity response function and seasonal productivity alongside an appropriate irrigation regime. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.