Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-2019

Abstract

A common restoration treatment for saline–sodic soils involves improving soil drainage, applying soil amendments (e.g., CaSO4, CaCl2, or elemental S), and leaching with water that has a relatively low electrical conductivity. However, due to high subsoil bulk densities and low drainable porosities, these treatments many not be effective in glaciated dryland systems. A 3-yr field study conducted in three model systems determined the impact of chemical amendments (none, CaCl2, CaSO4, and elemental S) on plant growth, microbial composition, temporal changes in electrical conductivity (ECe ), and the relative sodium content (%Na). Chemical amendments (i) either reduced or did not increase maize (Zea mays), soybean (Glycine max), and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) yields; (ii) did not increase water infiltration or microbial biomass as determined using the phospholipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA) technique; and (iii) did not reduce ECe or %Na. These results were attributed to high bulk densities and low drainable porosities that reducing the drainage effectiveness in the model backslope and footslope soils, the presence of subsurface marine sediments that provided a source for sodium and other salts that could be transported through capillary action to the surface soil, high sulfate and gypsum contents in the surface soil, and relatively low microbial biomass values. The results suggests that an alternative multistep saline sodic soil restoration approach that involves increasing exchangeable Ca+2 through enhanced microbial and root respiration and increasing transpiration and soil drainage by seeding full season deep rooted perennial vegetation should be tested.

Publication Title

Agronomy Journal

Volume

111

Issue

2

First Page

496

Last Page

508

DOI of Published Version

10.2134/agronj2018.04.0296

Publisher

American Society of Agronomy

Rights

Copyright © 2019 by the American Society of Agronomy

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Comments

This article was published in Agronomy Journal 111:496-508, (2019) .doi:10.2134/agronj2018.04.0296

Available for download on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

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