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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Alternating Irrigation with Fresh and Saline Water on the Soil Salt, Soil Nutrients, and Yield of Tomatoes

1
College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
2
College of Agricultural Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
3
Water Conservancy and Civil Engineering College, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot 010018, China
4
State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, Department of Irrigation and Drainage, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
5
Key Laboratory of Agricultural Soil and Water Engineering in Arid and Semiarid Areas of Ministry of Education, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
6
Ningxia Institute of Water Resources Research, Yinchuan 750021, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(8), 1693; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081693
Received: 1 July 2019 / Revised: 25 July 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 15 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Resources Management and Governance)
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Abstract

Saline water irrigation has become extremely important in arid and semi-arid areas in northwestern China. To study the effect of alternating irrigation models on the soil nutrients, soil salts, and yield of tomatoes with fresh water (total dissolved solids of 0.50 g·L−1) and saline water (total dissolved solids of 3.01 g·L−1), a two-year field experiment was carried out for tomatoes in the Hetao Irrigation District (HID), containing six drip irrigation models: T1 (all freshwater irrigation), T2 (saline water used in the seedling and flowering stages; fresh water in the fruit-set and breaker stages), T3 (saline water in the flowering and fruit-set stages; fresh water in the seedling and breaker stages), T4 (saline water in the fruit-set and breaker stages; fresh water in the seedling and flowering stages), T5 (saline water in the flowering and breaker stages; fresh water in the seedling and fruit-set stages), T6 (saline water in the seedling and fruit-set stages; fresh water in the flowering and breaker stages). The study found that saline water irrigation tends to have a positive effect on soil total nitrogen and a negative influence on soil total phosphorus at each growth stage of the tomato. Soil Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+, K+, and Cl increased over the growth period, soil HCO3 decreased gradually by growth stage, and the salt ions increased with the amount of saline water applied in alternating irrigation. Though the soil salt accumulated in all experimentally designed alternating irrigation models, soil alkalization did not occur in the tomato root zone under the soil matric potential threshold of −25 kPa. The utilization of saline water resulted in about a 1.9–18.2% decline in fruit yield, but the total soluble solids, lycopene, and sugar in the tomato fruits increased. Ultimately, drip irrigation with fresh water at the seedling to flowering stages and saline water at the fruit-set to breaker stages was suggested for tomato cultivation in HID. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hetao Irrigation District; alternating irrigation; saline water; tomato; mulched drip irrigation Hetao Irrigation District; alternating irrigation; saline water; tomato; mulched drip irrigation
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Li, J.; Chen, J.; Qu, Z.; Wang, S.; He, P.; Zhang, N. Effects of Alternating Irrigation with Fresh and Saline Water on the Soil Salt, Soil Nutrients, and Yield of Tomatoes. Water 2019, 11, 1693.

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