Comparison of growth of annual crops used for salinity bioremediation in the semi-arid irrigation area K.K., Zehetner F., Loiskandl W., Klik A. (2019): Comparison of growth of annual crops used for salinity bioremediation in the semi-arid irrigation area. Plant Soil Environ., 65: 165-171.
download PDF

The decline of soil organic carbon (SOC) has aggravated salinity-related problems in semi-arid irrigation areas of the Awash river basin, Ethiopia. This study aimed at evaluating the performance of potential remediation crops on saline soil and their effectiveness for remediating soil salinity and improving pH, SOC, bulk density (BD) and hydraulic conductivity (HyCo). Rhodes grass (RHG), alfalfa (ALF), sudangrass (SUG) and blue panicgrass (Retz) (BPG) were grown in saline (3–13.9 dS/m) field plots. The crop biomass was incorporated into the soil immediately before flowering. The results show that at high soil salinity levels, BPG and SUG grew well, with the harvesting frequency of BPG being much higher than for SUG. Conversely, the growth of ALF and RHG was strongly inhibited by high soil salinity. Significant (P < 0.05) reduction of soil salinity levels (–3.2 dS/m) and related ionic concentrations, an increase of SOC (0.8% to 1.6%) and improvement of BD and HyCo were observed in BPG plots. The fast-growing nature of BPG in the hot climate of the experimental area resulted in harvests every three weeks and promoted the incorporation of high amounts of biomass to the soil and efficient soil salinity remediation. At moderately saline conditions, ALF also showed a great potential for salinity reclamation (–1.8 dS/m) and SOC accumulation. The cultivation of fast-growing annual crops proved an efficient and low-cost strategy for soil salinity mitigation and the reclamation of salinity-associated soil degradation in irrigation agriculture in Ethiopia.

Ahmad Muhammad Sajid Aqeel, Ashraf Muhammad, Ali Qasim (2010): Soil salinity as a selection pressure is a key determinant for the evolution of salt tolerance in Blue Panicgrass (Panicum antidotale Retz.). Flora - Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants, 205, 37-45
Ammari Tarek G., Al-Hiary Sa'id, Al-Dabbas Mohammad (2013): Reclamation of saline calcareous soils using vegetative bioremediation as a potential approach. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science, 59, 367-375
Ayars J.E., Hoffman G.J., Corwin D.L. (2011): Leaching and rootzone salinity control. In: Wallender W.W., Tanji K.K. (eds): Agricultural Salinity Assessment and Management. 2nd Edition. Reston, American Society of Civil Engineers.
Bayabil Haimanote K., Stoof Cathelijne R., Lehmann Johannes C., Yitaferu Birru, Steenhuis Tammo S. (2015): Assessing the potential of biochar and charcoal to improve soil hydraulic properties in the humid Ethiopian Highlands: The Anjeni watershed. Geoderma, 243-244, 115-123
Behnke R., Kerven C. (2011): Counting the Costs: Replacing Pastoralism with Irrigated Agriculture in the Awash Valley, North-Eastern Ethiopia. London, International Institute for Environment and Development.
Benjamin Joseph G., Mikha Maysoon M., Vigil Merle F. (2008): Organic Carbon Effects on Soil Physical and Hydraulic Properties in a Semiarid Climate. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 72, 1357-
Brevik E, Fenton T, Moran L (2002): Effect of soil compaction on organic carbon amounts and distribution, South-Central Iowa. Environmental Pollution, 116, S137-S141
Hanin Moez, Ebel Chantal, Ngom Mariama, Laplaze Laurent, Masmoudi Khaled (2016): New Insights on Plant Salt Tolerance Mechanisms and Their Potential Use for Breeding. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7, -
Hussain Tabassum, Koyro Hans-Werner, Huchzermeyer Bernhard, Khan M. Ajmal (2015): Eco-physiological adaptations of Panicum antidotale to hyperosmotic salinity: Water and ion relations and anti-oxidant feedback. Flora - Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants, 212, 30-37
Ismail Saleh M., El-Nakhlawy Fathy S. (2018): Measuring Crop Water Requirement and Crop Coefficient for Blue Panic Crop Under Arid Conditions Using Draining Lysimeters. Irrigation and Drainage, 67, 454-460
IUSS Working Group WRB (2015): World Reference Base for Soil Resources 2014, update 2015. International Soil Classification System for Naming Soils and Creating Legends for Soil Maps. World Soil Resources Reports No. 106. Rome, FAO.
Khorsandi Farhad, Yazdi Fateme Alaei (2011): Estimation of Saturated Paste Extracts’ Electrical Conductivity from 1:5 Soil/Water Suspension and Gypsum. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 42, 315-321
Mamman E., Ohu J.O., Crowther T.W. (2007): Effect of soil compaction and organic matter on the early growth of maize (Zea mays L.) in a vertisol. International Agrophysics, 21: 367–375.
McIntyre D.S., Loveday J. (1974): Bulk density. In: Loveday J. (ed.): Methods for Analysis of Irrigated Soils. Buckinghamshire, Farnham Royal, Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux.
R Core Team (2018): R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. Vienna, R Foundation for Statistical Computing.
Soilmoisture Equipment Corp (2012): Guelph Permeameter. Goleta.
TADDESE GIRMA (2001): Land Degradation: A Challenge to Ethiopia. Environmental Management, 27, 815-824
Tucker B. B., Kurtz L. T. (1961): Calcium and Magnesium Determinations by EDTA Titrations1. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 25, 27-
Woldring M.G. (1953): Flame photometric determination of sodium and potassium in some biological fluids. Analytica Chimica Acta, 8, 150-167
Wong V. N. L., Greene R. S. B., Dalal R. C., Murphy B. W. (2010): Soil carbon dynamics in saline and sodic soils: a review. Soil Use and Management, 26, 2-11
Zhang Haiquan, Hartge K. H., Ringe H. (1997): Effectiveness of Organic Matter Incorporation in Reducing Soil Compactibility. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 61, 239-
download PDF

© 2019 Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences