Chapter 3

Salinity and its Effect on Yield of Field/Horticultural Crops

Sandeep Kaur, Neha Sharma, Ajay Kumar, Samiksha, Shagun Verma, Satwinderjeet Kaur, Satwinder Kaur Sohal and Sharad Thakur*

Abstract

Salinity is considered a crucial environmental factor that limits the production of the crop in many parts of the world with marginal agricultural soils. It causes a reduction in agricultural productivity globally and renders an estimated onethird of irrigated land of the world unsuitable for the production of crops. A high concentration of salt can kill all the crops and plants. Salinity can affect the yield and growth of most crops, as the higher rate of salinity can cause both hyperosmotic and hyper ionic effects in plants, leading to an increase in the production of activated oxygen species, membrane disorganization, and metabolic toxicity. Its effects on the growth and development of plants include osmotic stress, ion toxicity, mineral deficiencies, biochemical and physiological perturbations, and combinations of these stressors. Salinity reduces Ca2+ availability that in turn decreases the mobility and transport of Ca2+ to growing regions of the plant when dominated by Na+ salts and thereby affects the quality of both reproductive and vegetative organs. The horticultural crops are mostly glycophytes that evolved under the conditions of low salinity of the soil. Nutrient uptake is directly affected by salinity, such as Cl- reducing NO3- uptake or Na+ reducing K+ uptake. The performance of crops may be affected adversely by salinity-induced nutritional disorders. These disorders resulting from salinity may affect the availability of nutrients, transporter partitioning, and competitive uptake within the plant. This chapter will elucidate the deleterious effect of salinity on the growth and development of crop plants.

Total Pages: 40-55 (16)

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