IJSRP, Volume 2, Issue 9, September 2012 Edition [ISSN 2250-3153]
The growth response of Acacia nilotica, Albizzia lebbeck and Prosopis cineraria seedlings in relation to salinity and water stress levels under green house conditions were studied. The response to salinity with water stress by three species possessing different reproductive strategies were investigated to determine the implication of using combined levels of salinity with water stress availability to manipulate plant growth and increased the yield. Three species were compared in terms of growth parameters and response breadth. The suppression of growth parameters caused by the interaction of salinity with water stress was greater in Prosopis cineraria than in Acacia nilotica. The response breadth for both height growth and dry weight along combined gradient of interaction of salinity and water stress was narrower in all the species. The broadest was in A. nilotica (0.495, 0.516) and narrower in P. cineraria, indicating that all the species can grow along a limited gradient of combined salt and water stress. These results suggest the growth of Acacia nilotica seedlings was greatly promoted under the stress conditions of salinity with water stress and resulting in a much more balanced growth in terms of response breadth, which is vital for plants growing in the harsh arid environments where concentration of salts is much more and competition for water is usually intense.