Daily photosynthesis, water relations, and ion concentrations of euonymus irrigated with treated wastewater
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Euonymus japonica Thunb. (euonymus) plants were submitted for 9 months to two irrigation treatments using water from different sources: a control (C) water with electrical conductivity (EC) less than 1.2 dS•m−1 and reclaimed wastewater (RW) with EC ≈4 dS•m−1. At the end of the experiment, no differences in the total dry weight were observed between treatments, whereas the leaf dry mass increased (to the detriment of the root part in RW plants). Throughout the day, the stem water potential (Ψstem) of the RW plants was lower than in C, whereas stomatal conductance (gS) was slightly reduced in RW from 0800 HR to 1200 HR, but no significant variation in photosynthesis (Pn) or energy conversion efficiency (F′v/F′m) in photosystem II was detected through the effect of salinity. Gas exchange and fluorescence showed a tendency to increase after midday in plants treated with RW. The photosynthetic behavior and fluorescence of RW plants may have been related to the nitrogen and chlorophyll content of the leaves, confirming the resistance of the photosynthetic mechanism to salinity in this species in these conditions. The toxic effects produced by high concentrations of boron (B), sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl–) were offset by the effect of other ions like magnesium (Mg2+), potassium (K+ ), and phosphorus (P) in plants irrigated with RW, thus improving their physiological status without decreasing their ornamental value.