Comparison of the individual salinity and water deficit stress using water use, yield, and plant parameters in maize

Abouzar Bazrafshan*, Mehdi Shorafa, Mohammad Hossein Mohammadi, Ali Asghar Zolfaghari, Daniël van de Craats, Sjoerd E.A.T.M. van der Zee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Though water deficit and salinity effects on plants have similarities, they are physiologically different. This motivated us to separately explore the effects of salinity and water deficit on water consumption, yield, and some plant parameters for maize (Zea mays L., var. SC704). Greenhouse experiments were conducted during two seasons. In one experiment, maize was cultivated in wet soil (matric potential of − 10 kPa), and the irrigation water salinity was varied between treatments (osmotic potentials up to − 336 kPa). In a parallel experiment, five water deficit levels were maintained by irrigating with water to accomplish the same daily water uptake as in the salinity treatments. The experiments were conducted in pots with a randomized design and four replicates. Salinity and water deficit stress significantly affected yield and other plant parameters. However, root dry matter in autumn was not significant. We observed a profound effect of evaporative demand on most of the plant parameters and water use, such as water use efficiency (WUE). For same water use rate, the values of osmotic and matric potential were different. In spring season, the ratios of matric to osmotic potential were 0.25, 0.46, 0.44, and 0.43 in corresponding D1, D2, D3, and D4 water deficit and S1, S2, S3, and S4 salinity treatments. For autumn season, these ratios were 0.26, 0.36, 0.34, and 0.36. We concluded crop models that lump water deficit and salinity (additively or multiplicatively) to predict yields can result in inappropriate predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number448
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2020


  • Abiotic stresses
  • Evaporative demand
  • Root system
  • Water uptake


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