Skip to main content
Log in

An assessment of the relative effects of adverse physical and chemical properties of sodic soil on the growth and yield of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Plant and Soil Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Two wheat varieties were grown in artificially created sodic soils in pots at a range of sodicity levels (exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) 15–52), with and without an anionic polyacrylamide soil conditioner (PAM) to stabilise soil aggregates. Increasing sodicity decreased the % water stable aggregates (% WSA) in soil and survival, grain and straw yield of wheat. Plants grown at high sodicity also had higher Na+, lower K+ and Ca2+ concentrations and lower K+/Na+ ratio in flag leaf sap than plants grown in control (non-sodic) soil. Sodicity had no effect on the concentrations of Cu2+, Fe2+, Mn2+ and Zn2+ in grains and straw, but total uptake of these micronutrients was deceased due to lower dry weight of these tissues per plant. At all sodicity levels treatment of sodic soil with PAM increased the % WSA to values greater than in the non-sodic control soil, and slightly lowered ESP. Over the range ESP 15–44 the effects of PAM on wheat grain yield increased as sodicity increased, so that at ESP 44 grain yield in the treatment with PAM was only 25% lower than in the non-sodic control. However at ESP 52 the effects of PAM were smaller, and grain yield was 86% lower than in the control. At this sodicity level the decreases in grain yield due to sodicity and the increases in reponse to treatment of sodic soil with PAM were similar in the two varieties tested. At high sodicity levels (ESP 44 and 52) treatment of sodic soil with PAM decreased the concentration of Na+ and increased K+ and K+/Na+ ratio in flag leaf sap. However, at the highest sodicity level (ESP 52), flag leaf Na+ concentration remained above the level (100 mol m-3) at which it has been found to be toxic. Concentrations of Cu2+, Fe2+, Mn2+ and Zn2+ in grain and straw were unaffected by PAM. These results suggest that at ESP up to 40–50 adverse physical characteristics are the major cause of low wheat yield in sodic soils, either due to their direct effects in decreasing growth, or their indirect effects in increasing uptake of Na+ and decreasing uptake of K+. Above ESP 50, roots are less able to exclude Na+, even in the presence of improved soil physical conditions, so that at these sodicity levels, both adverse physical and adverse chemical properties contribute to the decreased yield.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

References

  • Allison L E 1952 Effect of synthetic polyelectrolytes on the structure of saline and alkali soils. Soil Sci. 73, 443–454.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Allison L E 1956 Soil and plant repsonses to VAMA and HPAN soil conditioners in the presence of high exchangeable sodium. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc. 20, 147–151.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Allison L E and Moore D C 1956 Effect of VAMA and HPAN soil conditioners on aggregation, surface crusting and moisture retention in alkali soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc. 20, 143–146.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Amtmann A and Sanders D 1998 Mechanisms of Na+ uptake by plant cells. Adv. Bot. Res. 29, 76–176.

    Google Scholar 

  • Angers D A and Mehuys g R 1993 Aggregate stability to water. In Soil Sampling and Methods of Analysis. Ed. Carter M R. pp 651–655. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida.

    Google Scholar 

  • Avery B W1990 Soils of the British Isles. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau: Wallingford, Oxon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bains S S and Fireman M 1964 Effect of exchangeable sodium percentage on the growth and absorption of essential nutrients and sodium by five crop plants. Agron. J. 56, 432–435.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bernstein L and Pearson G A 1956 Influence of exchangeable sodium on the yield and chemical composition of plants: I. Green beans, garden beets, clover and alfalfa. Soil Sci. 82, 247–258.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Buchholz F L 1992 Polyacrylamides and polyacrylic acids. In Ullmann's Encyclopaedia of Industrial Chemistry, vol. A, A21. Eds B Elvers, S Hawkins and G Shulz. pp 143–156. VCH, Weinheim, Germany.

    Google Scholar 

  • Carr C E and Greenland D J 1975 Potential application of polyvinyl acetate and polyvinyl alcohol in the structural improvement of sodic soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 7, 47–63.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chang C W and Dregne H E 1955 Effect of exchangeable sodium on soil properties and on growth and cation content of alfalfa and cotton. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc. 19, 29–35.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chhipa B R and Lal P 1991 Effect of soil sodicity on yield, yield attributes and nutrient uptake by different varieties of wheat. Current Agric. 15, 29–33.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chhippa B R and Lal P 1995 Na+/K+ ratios as the basis of salt tolerance in wheat. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 46, 534–539.

    Google Scholar 

  • Choudhary O P, Bajwa M S and Josan A S 1996 Tolerance of wheat and Triticale to sodicity. Crop Improv. 23, 238–246.

    Google Scholar 

  • Curtin D and Naidu R 1998 Fertility constraints to plant production. In Sodic Soils: Distribution, Properties, Management and Environmental Consequences. Eds M E Summer and R Naidu. pp 107–123. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

    Google Scholar 

  • El-Morsy E A, Malik M and Letey J 1994 Polymer effect on the hydraulic conductivity of saline and sodic soil conditions. Soil Sci. 151, 430–435.

    Google Scholar 

  • Evans L T, Wardlaw I F and Fischer R A 1976 Wheat. In Crop Physiology. Ed. L T Evans. pp 101–135. Cambridge University Press, UK.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gorham J, Bridges J, Dubcovsky J, Dvorak J, Hollington P A, Luo, M-C and Khan J A 1997 Genetic analysis and physiology of a trait for enhanced K+/Na+ discrimination in wheat. New Phytol. 137, 109–116.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Gupta R K and Abrol I P 1990 Reclamation and management of alkali soils. Indian J. Agric. Sci. 60, 1–16.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gupta S K and Sharma S K 1990 Response of crops to high exchangeable sodium percentage. Irrig. Sci. 11, 173–179.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harris R F, Chester g and Allen O N 1966 Dynamics of soil aggregation. Adv. Agron. 18, 107–169.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Levy G J, Shainberg I and Miller W P 1998 Physical properties of sodic soils. In Sodic Soils: Distribution, Properties, Management and Environmental Consequences. Eds M E Sumner and R Naidau. pp 77–94. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lunt O R, Kaempffe C and Younger V B 1964 Tolerance of five turfgrass species to soil alkali. Agron. J. 56, 481–483.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • MAFF 1985 The analysis of agricultural materials, 3rd ed. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Marschner H 1995 Alkaline soils In Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants. Ed. H Marscher. pp 641–642. Academic Press Limited, London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Martin J P and Jones WW1954 Greenhouse plant response to vinyl acetate-maleic acid copolymer in natural soils and in prepared soils containing high percentages of Na+ or K+. Soil Sci. 78, 317–324.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mehotra C L and Das S K 1973 Influence of exchangeable sodium on the chemical composition of important crops at different stages of growth. J. Indian Soc. Soil Sci. 21, 355–365.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moustafa A H I, Shahbassy A I, Gohar A I, Abd-EL Naim E M, Abdel-Rahman A and Elshal M E 1966 Growth and cationic accumulation by wheat and barley plants as influenced by various levels of exchangeable sodium. The Agric. Res. Rev. 44, 1–17.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pearson G A and Bernstein L 1958 Influence of exchangeable sodium on yield and chemical composition of plants: II Wheat, barley, oats, rice, tall fescue and tall wheat grass. Soil Sci. 86, 254–261.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rajpar I A and Sial N B 1996 Relationship between salts of soil profile and underground water. Pak. J. Agric. Agric. Engng. Vet. Sci. 13, 19–23.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ray N K and Khaddar V K 1995 A study on the effects of soil salinity, sodicity and their combinations on early seedling growth in wheat. J. Environ. Biol. 16, 193–199.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rhoades D J 1982 Saturation extracts. In Soil Sampling and Methods of Analysis. Ed. M R Carter. pp 162–163. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rowell D L 1994 The preparation of saturation extracts and the analysis of soil salinity and sodicity. In Soil Science Methods and Applications. Ed. D L Rowell. Longman Group, UK.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shannon M C 1997 Adaption of plants to salinity. Adv. Agron. 60, 76–120.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sharma S K 1991 Effect of exchangeable sodium on growth, yield and ionic relations in wheat genotypes differing in sodicity resistance. Indian J. Plant Physiol. 34, 249–256.

    Google Scholar 

  • Singh N, Sharma B K and Dhir R P 1989 Soil and ground-water salinity-sodicity problem in Challakere taluka of Chitradrug district, Karnataka. Ann. Arid Zone 28, 235–243.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sumner M E and Naidu R 1998 Sodic Soils: Distribution, Properties, Management and Environmental Consequences. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

    Google Scholar 

  • Szabolcs I (1989) Salt Affected Soils. CRC Press Inc., Boca Raton, Florida.

    Google Scholar 

  • Theng B K G 1982 Clay-polymer interactions: summary and perspectives. Clays Clay Miner. 30, 1–10.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Thorne G N 1965 Photosynthesis of ears and flag leaves of wheat and barley. Ann. Bot. 9, 185–189.

    Google Scholar 

  • USSL Staff 1954 Diagnosis and Improvement of Saline and Alkali Soils. USDA, U.S. Govt. Printing Office, Washington, DC.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wright, D., Rajper, I. An assessment of the relative effects of adverse physical and chemical properties of sodic soil on the growth and yield of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Plant and Soil 223, 279–287 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1004882523013

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1004882523013

Navigation