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Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 20, Issue 1–2, pp 1–23 | Cite as

Tree planting for dryland salinity control in Australia

  • N. J. Schofield
Article

Abstract

Dryland salinity is emerging as a major form of land and water degradation in southern Australia, particularly in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria, and to a lesser extent in New South Wales, Tasmania and Queensland.

Tree planting, in combination with other vegetation treatments, is regarded as a leading solution to dryland salinity. Research has now shown that planting trees can significantly lower groundwater tables, and thereby reverse the causal process of salinisation. Substantial progress has been made towards answering the basic questions of which species to grow, how to plant, where to plant, at what density and configuration to plant, and how much area to plant. The economic potential for commercial tree planting has given impetus to partial reforestation in higher rainfall (> 600 mm yr–1) areas. Even so, serious constraints are apparent, relating primarily to cost, uncertainty and attitude. The future should bring increasing community input and control, technical refinement and gradual adoption, provided all aspects of the issue are well researched, relevant information is well communicated and programmes are well administered. Some specific requirements for future research are identified in this review.

Key words

salinity salinisation dryland salinity irrigation salinity tree reforestation plantation agroforestry water water table groundwater social political economic financial 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. J. Schofield
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Australian Water Resources CouncilLeedervilleWestern Australia

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