Effects of Superabsorbents on Growth and Physiological Responses of Date Palm Seedling under Water Deficit Conditions

Document Type: Research paper


Assistant professor at Date Palm and Tropical Fruits Research Center, Horticultural Sciences Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Ahwaz, Iran


 Irrigation is an inevitable part of agriculture which determines crop yield and thus food security. In modern era of agriculture, crop yield is determined on the basis of crop production per unit of water-use instead of crop production per land unit area. Deficit irrigation is introduced as a strategy for controlling water resources that leads to water resource preservation. Date palm requires regular irrigation after plantation at the primary growth stages. In the present study, the effect of applying superabsorbent polymers on required water for irrigation of date palm seedlings has been evaluated during 2011-2012. Treatments were 60%, 80% and 100% ETc irrigation and 0, 40, 80 and 120 g superabsorbents for each seedling. The experiment was conducted in RCBD and split-split plot experimental designs. Water requirement was calculated based on FAO pan method. Results showed that, percentage of establishment reduced significantly in all irrigation regimes including normal irrigation, mid stress, and severe stress. Moreover, using superabsorbents resulted in an increase in SOD activity under 80% irrigation deficit in comparison to full irrigation. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that superabsorbents significantly affected uptake of mineral nutrients and consequently resulted in a raise in seedling establishment.  


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