Currently, the only approach we have for managing and alleviating the effects of root zone salinity is water leaching. Methods of managing soil salinity that do not require more water would have great horticultural value.
Recent research with the pistachio species, P. lentiscus, demonstrated that increasing the root zone Ca+2 levels mitigated the effects of root zone salinity by reducing Na+ uptake to the leaves during salinity stress.
Additional research on P. lentiscus and olive, reported when osmatic stress was relieved by leaching with quality water (relief period), both photosynthesis and growth rate recovered faster when previously treated with high Ca+2 compare to low Ca+2 treatment.
These studies motivated us to investigate the specific effects of increasing root zone Ca+2 on Na+ uptake, transport and plant growth in ‘Kerman’ trees (California’s most common pistachio scion) budded on PGI, UCBI clonal and UCBI seedling rootstocks grown in saline soils.