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Soil amendments and cultivar selection can improve rice yield in salt-influenced (tsunami-affected) paddy fields in Sri Lanka

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The tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean in December 2004 caused devastation of agricultural soils by salt water over wide areas. Many rice fields located close to the coast were affected by the flood of seawater. Electric conductivity (EC) of soils in tsunami-affected rice fields was found to be higher compared to unaffected fields 2 years after the tsunami. Four soil amendments (gypsum, dolomite, cinnamon ash and rice-husk-charcoal) were tested for their influence on improving the yield parameters of rice grown in a tsunami-affected and a non-affected area. Yield parameters were compared with an untreated control of the same cultivar (AT362) and with a salt resistant rice variety (AT354). The salt resistant variety had the highest grain yield. The two amendments gypsum and rice-husk-charcoal led to an increase in grain yield compared to the untreated control, whereas dolomite and cinnamon ash had no significant effect on grain yield.

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Correspondence to Thomas G. Reichenauer.

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Reichenauer, T.G., Panamulla, S., Subasinghe, S. et al. Soil amendments and cultivar selection can improve rice yield in salt-influenced (tsunami-affected) paddy fields in Sri Lanka. Environ Geochem Health 31, 573–579 (2009).

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