Advertisement

Can highly saline irrigation water improve sodicity and alkalinity in sodic clayey subsoils?

  • Suresh Panta
  • Richard Doyle
  • Marcus Hardie
  • Peter Lane
  • Tim Flowers
  • Gabriel Haros
  • Sergey Shabala
Soils, Sec 5 • Soil and Landscape Ecology • Research Article

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of irrigating crops with saline irrigation water is not new, but impacts of this practice on soil properties remain debatable, particularly the use of highly saline water. In this work, key soil chemical properties were assessed to a depth of 300 cm following 2.5 years of application of highly saline irrigation to a sodic texture-contrast soil (Brown Sodosol) in south-eastern Tasmania, Australia.

Materials and methods

Control plots (rainfall only) were compared to irrigation treatments of low (0.8 dS/m) and high salinity (16 dS/m) waters at application rates of both 200 and 800 mm/year.

Results and discussion

Whilst significant increases in both electrical conductivity and chloride concentration occurred throughout the soil profile in the high salinity treatment, these values were well below those of the irrigation water, indicating effective deep leaching. In the upper soil profile, 0–50 cm, of the high salinity treatments both the exchangeable Na+ and its ratio to total base cations (ESP) were significantly increased whilst the lower soil profile between 50 and 200 cm, was improved via both reduced alkalinity and sodicity. Leaching of the exchangeable base cations Ca2+, Mg2+ and K+ was significant in the upper soil profile (0–50 cm). As expected, the low salinity treatment (0.8 dS/m) had minimal impacts on soil chemical properties. The upper topsoil (0–10 cm) total organic carbon was significantly reduced in the high salinity plots and was negatively correlated with Cl concentration.

Conclusions

The data confirms the general concerns about application of saline irrigation, namely increased whole profile salinisation and upper soil profile (0–50 cm) sodicity, but they also show unexpected and desirable reductions in the lower soil profile (> 50 cm) alkalinity and sodicity. It appears the Na+ ions present in the saline waters led to differential leaching of base cations from the rooting zone, especially Ca2+ which then ameliorate the alkalinity and sodicity deeper in the soil profile (> 50 cm). Thus, surface application of gypsum may help sustain the application of highly saline waters; alternatively, subsurface irrigation above the sodic clayey subsoils could be trailed.

Keywords

Exchangeable cations Soil chemical properties Soil salinity Soil sodicity 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Mr. Philip Andrews, Ronald and Chris Gunn, Alvin Lam and Geo Environmental Solutions (GES) are acknowledged for their assistance in field-related work in this project.

Funding information

This work was supported by the ARC Linkage grant to Sergey Shabala, Tim Flowers and Gabriel Haros.

References

  1. Abou-Hadid AF (2003) The use of saline water in agriculture in the Near East and North Africa region: Present and future. J Crop Prod 7(1–2):299–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agassi M, Tarchitzky J, Keren R, Chen Y, Goldstein D, Fizik E (2003) Effects of prolonged irrigation with treated municipal effluent on runoff rate. J Environ Qual 32:1053–1057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ahuja LR (1990) Modeling soluble chemical transfer to runoff with rainfall impact as a diffusion process. Soil Sci Soc Am J 54:312–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Angin I, Yaganoglu AV, Turan M (2005) Effects of long-term wastewater irrigation on soil properties. J Sustain Agric 26:31–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Australian Bureau of Statistic (2015) Water uses on Australian Farms 2013-14. Cat. No 4618.0 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/mf/4618.0 .Accessed 02 June 2015
  6. Bartal A, Feigenbaum S, Sparks DL (1991) Potassium-salinity interactions in irrigated corn. Irrig Sci 12:27–35Google Scholar
  7. Bates TE, Johnston RW (1985) Soil acidity and liming, Factsheet, Aged. 534, order 91–086 Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural AffairsGoogle Scholar
  8. Bethune MG, Batey TJ (2002) Impact on soil hydraulic properties resulting from irritating saline-sodic soils with low salinity water. Aust J Exp Agric 42:273–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Biggs TW, Jiang B (2009) Soil salinity and exchangeable cations in a wastewater irrigated area India. J Environ Qual 38:887–896Google Scholar
  10. Bureau of Meteorology (2014) Climate statistics for Australian locations-Hobart Airport. http://bom.gov.au/climate . Accessed 13 August 2014
  11. Burrow DP, Surapaneni A, Rogers ME, Olsson KA (2002) Groundwater use in forage production: the effect of saline-sodic irrigation and subsequent leaching on soil sodicity. Aust J Exp Agric 42:237–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Charman PEV, Roper MM (2007) Soil organic matter. In: Charman PEV, Murphy BW (eds) Soils-Their Properties and Management, 3rd edn. University Press Melbourne, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  13. Chartres C, Williams J (2006) Can Australia overcome its water scarcity problems? J Dev Sustain Agric 1:17–24Google Scholar
  14. Chen W, Lu S, Pang N, Jiao W (2013) Impacts of long-term reclaimed water irrigation on soil salinity accumulation in urban green land in Beijing. Water Resour Res 49:7401–7410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Christen E, Khan S, van Meerveld I (2002) Improving institutional arrangements for conjunctive water use in Australia: a case study of the Shepparton, Coleambally and Burdekin Irrigation Areas. In: Qureshi AS, Bhatti A, Jehangir WA (eds) Sustaining Surface and Groundwater Resources: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Conjunctive Water Management for Sustainable Irrigation Agriculture in South Asia, Lahore, pp 187–215Google Scholar
  16. Crecchio C, Gelsomino A, Ambrosoli R, Minati JL, Ruggiero P (2004) Functional and molecular responses of soil microbial communities under differing soil management practices. Soil Biol Biochem 36:1873–1883CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dang YP, Dalal RC, Mayer DG, MCDonald M, Routley R, Schwenke GD, Buck SR, Daniells IG, Sing DK, Mannings W, Fergusons N (2008) High subsoil chloride concentrations reduce soil water extraction and crop yield on Vertisols in north-eastern Australia. Aust J Agric Res 59:321–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Department of Natural Resources and Water (2007) Constraints to cropping soils in the northern grains region: a decision tree, Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water, Brisbane. http://www.grdc.com.au/uploads/documents/dnr00004.pdf. Accessed 12 March 2015
  19. FAO/ISRIC/ISSS (1998) World reference base for soil resources. World Soil Resources Report. FAO, Rome, p 84Google Scholar
  20. Flowers TJ, Galal HK, Bromham L (2010) Evolution of halophytes: multiple origins of salt tolerance in land plants. Funct Plant Biol 37:604–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Francis AJ (1986) The ecological effects of acid deposition II: acid-rain effects on soil and aquatic microbial processes. Cell Mol Life Sci 42:455–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ghallab A, Usman ARA (2007) Effect of sodium chloride-induced salinity on phyto availability and speciation of Cd in soil solution. Water Air Soil Pollut 185:43–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Glenn EP, Brown JJ, Blumwald E (1999) Salt tolerance and crop potential of halophytes. Crit Rev Plant Sci 18(2):227–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grattan SR, Grieve CM (1999) Salinity-mineral nutrient relations in horticultural crops. Sci Hortic 78:127–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Greenway H, Munns R (1980) Mechanisms of salt tolerance in non-halophytes. Annu Rev Plant Physiol 31:149–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Halliwell DJ, Barlow KM, Nash DM (2001) A review of the effects of wastewater sodium on soil physical properties and their implications for irrigation systems. Aust J Soil Res 39:1259–1267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hardie M, Doyle RB, Cotching B, Holz G, Lisson S (2013) Hydropedology and preferential flow in the Tasmanian texture-contrast soils. Vadose Zone J 12(4)Google Scholar
  28. Hazelton P, Murphy B (2007) Interpreting soil rest result: what do all the numbers mean? 2nd edn. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood VictoriaGoogle Scholar
  29. Holz G (1993) Principles of soil occurrence in the Lower Coal River Valley, S.E. Tasmania. PhD Dissertation, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  30. Huang CH, Xue X, Wang T, Mascellis RD, Mele G, You GG, Peng F, Tedeshi A (2011) Effect of saline water irrigation on soil properties. Environ Earth Sci 63:701–708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. IESC (2014) Coal seam gas extraction and co-produced water. Fact Sheet. September 2014. www.iesc.environment.gov.au . Accessed 02 June 2015
  32. Isbell RF (2002) The Australian soil classification, revised edn. CSIRO Publishing Melbourne, Australian Soil Land Survey SeriesGoogle Scholar
  33. Jalali M, Merrikhpour H (2008) Effects of poor quality irrigation waters on the nutrient leaching and groundwater quality from sandy soil. Environ Geol 53:1289–1298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jordan FL, Yoklic M, Morino K, Brown P, Seaman R, Glenn EP (2009) Consumptive water use and stomatal conductance of Atriplex lentiformis irrigated with industrial brine in a desert irrigation district. Agric Forest Meteorol 149:899–912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kiem AS (2013) Drought and water policy in Australia: Challenges for the future illustrated by the issues associated with water trading and climate change adaptation in the Murray–Darling Basin. Glob Environ Chang 23(6):1615–1626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kijne JW, Kuper M (1995) Salinity and sodicity in Pakistan’s Punjab: a threat to sustainability of irrigated agriculture? Int J Water Res Dev 11:73–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Killham K (1994) Soil ecology. Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  38. Mantell A, Frenkle H, Meiri A (1985) Drip irrigation of cotton with saline sodic water. Irrig Sci 6:95–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mcintosh PO, Allen RB (1993) Soil pH declines and organic carbon increase under Hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella). NZ. J Ecol 17:59–60Google Scholar
  40. Naidu R, Rengasamy P (1993) Ion interactions and constraints to plant nutrition in Australian sodic soils. Aust J Soil Res 31:801–819CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pan C, Zhao H, Zhao X, Han H, Wang Y, Li J (2013) Biophysical properties as determinants for soil organic carbon and total nitrogen in grassland salinization. PLoS One 8(1):e54827CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pankhrust C, Yu S, Hawke B, Harch B (2001) Capacity of fatty acid profile and substrage utilization pattern to describe difference in soil microbial communities associated with increased salinity or alkalinity at three locations in South Australia. Biol Fertil Soils 33:204–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Panta S, Flowers T, Lane P, Doyle R, Haros G, Shabala S (2014) Halophyte agriculture: success stories. Environ Exp Bot 107:71–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Panta S, Lane P, Doyle R, Hardie M, Haros G, Shabala S (2015) Halophytes as a possible alternative to desalination plants: prospects of recycling saline wastewater during Coal Seam Gas operations. In: Khan MA, Ozturk M, Gul B, Ahmed MZ (eds) Halophytes for Food Security in Dry Lands. DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-801854-5.00019-4
  45. Patterson RA (2006) Consideration of soil sodicity when assessing land application of effluent or greywater. Technical Sheet 01/07. http://www.lanfaxlabs.com.au/papers/P49Technical%20Sheet%20Sodicity-aug06.pdf Accessed 12Feburary 2015
  46. Rasul G, Appuhn A, Müller T, Joergensen RG (2006) Salinity- induced changes in the microbial use of sugarcane filter cake added to soil. Appl Soil Ecol 31:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rayment GE, Higginson FR (1992) Australian laboratory handbook of soil and water chemical methods. Inkata Press, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  48. Rayment GE, Lyons D (2011) Soil Chemical Methods –Australasia. CSIRO PublishingGoogle Scholar
  49. Rengasamy P, Olsson KA (1993) Irrigation and sodicity. Aust J Soil Res 31:821–837CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rengasamy P, Chittleborough D, Helyar K (2003) Root-zone constraints and plant-based solutions for dryland salinity. Plant Soil 257:249–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rengasamy P, North S, Smith A (2010) Diagnosis and management of sodicity and salinity in soil and water in the Murray Irrigation region. The University of Adelaide, SAGoogle Scholar
  52. Rhodes JD, Kandiah A, Mashali AM (1992) The use of saline water for crop production. FAO-irrigation drainage paper 48. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  53. Rogers ME (2002) Irrigating perennial pasute with saline water: effect on soil chemistry, pasture production and composition. Aust J Exp Agric 42:265–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sardinha M, Müller T, Schmeisky H, Joergensen RG (2003) Microbial performance in soils along a salinity gradient under acidic conditions. Appl Soil Ecol 23:237–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Schacht K, Marschner B (2015) Treated wastewater irrigation effects on soil hydraulic conductivity and aggregate stability of loamy soils in Israel. J Hydrol Hydromech 63:47–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Schacht K, Chen Y, Tarchitzky J, Lichner L, Marschner B (2014) Impact of treated wastewater irrigation on water repellency of Mediterranean soils. Irrig Sci 32:369–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Shainberg I, Letey J (1984) Response of soils to sodic and saline conditions. Hilgardia 52(2):1–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Shainberg I, Rhoades JD, Prather RJ (1981) Effect of low electrolyte concentration on clay dispersion and hydraulic conductivity. Soil Sci Soc Am J 45:273–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Shi Y, Baumann F, Ma Y, Song C, Kuhn P, Scholten T, He J-S (2012) Organic and inorganic carbon in the topsoil of the Mongolian and Tibetan grasslands: pattern, control and implications. Biogeosciences 9:2287–2299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Soil Survey Staff (2006) Keys to Soil Taxonomy, 10th edn. NRCS, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  61. Stenhouse J, Kijne JW (2006) Prospects for productive use of saline water in West Asia and North Africa. Comprehensive assessment research report no.11. Comprehensive Assessment Secretariat, ColomboGoogle Scholar
  62. Stevens DP, Somlennars S, Kelly J (2008) Irrigation of amenity horticulture with recycled water: a handbook for parks, gardens, lawns, playing fields, golf courses and other public open spaces. Arris Pty Ltd Melbourne 646 a Bridge Road, RichmondGoogle Scholar
  63. Surapaneni A (2002) Preface to 'Sodicity Issues in Agricultural Industries — Current Research and Future Directions'. Aust J Exp Agric:42, I–IGoogle Scholar
  64. Tarchitzky J, Lerner O, Shani U, Arye G, Lowengart-Aycicegi A, Brener A, Chen Y (2007) Water distribution pattern in treated wastewater irrigated soils: hydrophobicity effect. Eur J Soil Sci 58:573–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Tavakkoli E, Rengasamy P, McDonald GK (2010) The response of barley to salinity stress differs between hydroponic and soil system. Funct Plant Biol 37:621–633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. US Salinity Laboratory Staff (1954) Diagnosis and improvement of saline and alkalai soils. USDA Agric. Handbook. U.S. Govt. Printing Office, Washington DC, p 60Google Scholar
  67. Ventura Y, Myrzabayeva M, Alikulov Z, Omarov R, Khozin-Goldberg I, Sagi M (2014) Effect of salinity on flowering, morphology, biomass accumulation and leaf metabolites in an edible halophyte. AoB Plants 6:Plu053.  https://doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plu053 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Walpola B, Arunakumara (2010) Effect of salt stress on decomposition of organic matter and nitrogen mineralization in animal manures amended soils. J Agric Sci 5:9–18Google Scholar
  69. You SJ, Yin Y, Allen HE (1999) Partitioning of organic matter in soils: effects of pH and water/soil ratio. Sci Total Environ 227:155–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suresh Panta
    • 1
  • Richard Doyle
    • 1
  • Marcus Hardie
    • 1
  • Peter Lane
    • 1
  • Tim Flowers
    • 2
  • Gabriel Haros
    • 3
  • Sergey Shabala
    • 1
  1. 1.Tasmanian Institute of AgricultureUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  2. 2.School of Plant Biology, Faculty of Natural & Agricultural SciencesThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  3. 3.The PundaZoie Company Pty LtdMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations