Use of high-salinity waters to grow Kochia scoparia L. Schrad. As alternative fodder in saline environments in northwestern Mexico
KeywordsMultidisciplinarias (Ciencias Sociales)
Alternative Fodder / Forage Quality / Halophyte / Kochia / Salinity
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AbstractThis study examines the effects of different tap water: seawater ratios in the halophytic plant Kochia scoparia, for potential use as fodder in saline agroecosystems of Northwestern Mexico. Salinity postpones initiation of the germination process and after 6 days the decrease in germination with respect to the control in tap water was 9, 44, 77, and 85% in treatments 75:25, 50:50, 25:75, and 00:100 (tap water: seawater ratios), respectively. In treated plants for 20 and 42 days, growth decreased with the increase of sea water in the treatments in both periods. In the initial growth stage of K. scoparia, K+ concentrations in leaves and stem are high, whereas Na+ concentrations are low, indicating selective uptake of K+ and the preferential exclusion of Na+ from the shoot. Consequently, the ability of K. scoparia to counteract salinity partially depends on the levels of K+ available to maintain a high cytosolic K+/Na+ ratio. In more advanced growth stages this species employs a rapid growth strategy in order to dilute salt concentrations, which minimizes salt stress. K. scoparia has high forage quality. The protein and carbohydrate contents were high, whereas the fiber level was low, particularly when seawater proportion was increased. The plants accumulated oxalates and NO3 preferentially in the leaves and stems, which are the edible organs for livestock, but the recorded levels are below those considered toxic for livestock.