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Characterization of saline soil for the halophytes of largest inland saline wetland of India using geospatial technology

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Abstract

About 23% of the surface area and 44% of the volume of all the lakes are occupied by saline lakes in the world. Importantly, agricultural diversion, illegal encroachment, pollution, and invasive species could cause these lakes to dry up completely or partially by 2025. Illegal saltpan encroachment is causing Sambhar, India’s largest saline lake, to shrink by 4.23% every decade. This study aims to characterize the soil parameters where halophytes are growing. A literature survey was conducted for halophytes and soil characteristics. The study area was divided into four zones for stratified random sampling. Soil sampling was conducted in February 2021. The soil indicators for halophyte selected were pH, electrical conductivity, moisture, salinity, organic carbon, and organic matter. The obtained results were interpolated in the geospatial platform for soil characteristic mapping. It is found that no research is conducted on halophytes of the lake. Studies on soil are also inconsistent and only six common parameters could be identified. Results show that the pH ranged 9.37–7.66, electrical conductivity was 16.1–0.38, moisture 23.37%–1.2%, organic carbon 3.29%–0.15%, organic matter 5.6%–0.2%, and salinity 8.86%–0.72%. Though these results show improved condition as compared to last few years, in long term, the lake is desiccating. During the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030), if these causes are not addressed, the ecosystem may completely dry up.

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All the data are present in Department of Environmental Science, Central University of Rajasthan.

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Correspondence to Sharma Laxmi Kant.

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Rajashree, N., Laxmi Kant, S. & Avinash, S. Characterization of saline soil for the halophytes of largest inland saline wetland of India using geospatial technology. J. Ocean. Limnol. 41, 1277–1291 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00343-022-2161-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00343-022-2161-7

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