Soil salinization in the agricultural lands of Rhodope District, northeastern Greece
The objective of this study was to identify seasonal and spatial trends and soil salinization patterns in a part of Rhodope District irrigated land, northeastern Greece, located east of Vistonis Lagoon. The study area is irrigated from a coastal aquifer, where salt water intrusion occurs because of extensive groundwater withdrawals. Fourteen monitoring sites were established in harvest fields in the study area, where soil samples were collected. Electrical conductivity (ECe), pH, and ion concentrations were determined in the saturated paste extract of the soil samples in the laboratory using standard methods. A clear tendency was observed for ECe to increase from April to September, i.e., within the irrigation period, indicating the effect of saline groundwater to soil. In the last years, the change from moderately sensitive (e.g., corn) to moderately tolerant crops (e.g., cotton) in the south part of the study area indicates the impacts of soil salinity. The study proposes management methods to alleviate this problem.
KeywordsAgriculture Crop yield Soil salinization
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