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Improving Crop Productions Under Arid And Semiarid Conditions Essay

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Introduction Arid and semiarid regions are seriously lacking in fresh water. Water shortages in these regions have become the basic norm rather than the exception. Most importantly, the situation of water shortage is growing worse due to abrupt climatic changes and continuous population growth. All of these factors will decrease the amount of water allocated to the agricultural sector, which consumes about 75% of the available water supply. Therefore, as the water supply for agronomic purposes becomes insufficient, development of new germplasms with higher yield potential becomes more imperative and it will be one of the major adaptation strategies to sustain crop productions under arid and semiarid conditions. In order to improve the germplasms for these conditions, it is essential to evaluate a large number of genotypes using multiple selection criteria. Several morpho-physiological traits, particularly those related to crop processes, yield characteristics, and drought-tolerance mechanisms such as relative water content, canopy water content, SPAD value and normalized relative canopy temperature are usually effective as useful complementary selection criteria for screening germplasms under different environmental conditions (Chen et al., 2012; Elsayed et al., 2015). Direct measurements of those traits by traditional methods are destructive and time-consuming and some of them are difficult to do when a large number of genotypes need to be evaluated across different
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