Physiological responses of the beet crop under agricultural environment and saline stress
The deleterious effects of salts on plants exposed to high solar radiation tend to be more accelerated due to the increase of toxic ions in the aerial plant part. Consequently, the physiological and biochemical processes will be affected. These effects can be minimized, however, with the use of management strategies, such as the use of a shading screen and a protected environment. In this sense, the objective of this work was to evaluate the physiological responses of sugar beet cultivated in different environments and irrigated with saline water. The experiment was conducted in an experimental design entirely randomized, using the factorial scheme 3 × 2, equivalent to three environments (FS = full sun; SSOS = shading screen open on the sides and PE = protected environment) and two electrical conductivities of the irrigation water (0.5 and 6.2 dS m-1), with four repetitions. At 45 days after sowing (DAS) the following variables were analyzed: stomatal conductance, liquid photosynthesis, transpiration, internal CO2 concentration, leaf temperature, instantaneous water use efficiency, instantaneous carboxylation efficiency, intrinsic water use efficiency, and relative chlorophyll index. Irrigation with water of higher salinity negatively affected stomatal conductance, net photosynthesis, leaf temperature and instantaneous water use efficiency of sugar beet plants grown in a full sun environment. The protected environment and open shading on the sides partially mitigated the deleterious effects of salinity.
Keywords: Beta vulgaris L., gas exchange, salinity levels.
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