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The effect of water salinity on growth and ionic concentration and relation in plant tissues in Zinnia elegans and Tagetes erecta for use in urban landscasping

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Authors: A. Escalona, M. C. Salas-Sanjuán C. Dos Santos y M. Guzmán
Issue: 110-4 (325-334)
Topic: Plant Production
Keywords: Salt water, landscape, tissue analysis, ornamental characteristics, soilless culture.

Zinnia and tagete flowers present vivid and uniform colors, ideal characteristics for its use in urban landscapes, including applications in vertical gardens coverage and green roofs. In these systems, it is necessary to optimize the use of water and irrigation management in order to ensure the survival of vegetation cover. With the aim of selecting plants suitable for use in vertical gardens and green roofs, we evaluated the effects of irrigation water salinity using a recirculating hydroponic nutrient solution. The ion content in the tissues of plants and their effects on the ornamental characteristics were characterized. 6, 30 and 50 mM NaCl was added to nutrient solutions to obtain final electrical conductivities of 2.0, 4.5 and 6.5 dS m-1, respectively. The increases in salinity affected plant growth, causing a decrease in biomass, height and major and minor diameters. However, salinity did not affect zinnia flower production and did not produce toxicity symptoms in tagete leaves despite the significant accumulation of Na+ and Cl- in these tissues. These results highlight the salinity tolerance of tagete and zinnia, and their possible use in urban landscape irrigated with poor quality water.

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