Evaluating Abiotic Influences on Soil Salinity of Inland Managed Wetlands and Agricultural Croplands in a Semi-Arid Environment

Drew N. Fowler, Sammy L. King, David C. Weindorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Agriculture and moist-soil management are important management techniques used on wildlife refuges to provide adequate energy for migrant waterbirds. In semi-arid systems, the accumulation of soluble salts throughout the soil profile can limit total production of wetland plants and agronomic crops and thus jeopardize meeting waterbird energy needs. This study evaluates the effect of distinct hydrologic regimes associated with moist-soil management and agricultural production on salt accumulation in a semi-arid floodplain. We hypothesized that the frequency of flooding and quantity of floodwater in a moist-soil management hydroperiod results in a less saline soil profile compared to profiles under traditional agricultural management. Findings showed that agricultural croplands differed (p-value < 0.001, df = 9) in quantities of total soluble salts (TSS) compared to moist-soil impoundments and contained greater concentrations (TSS range = 1,160–1,750 (mg kg-1)) at depth greater than 55 cm below the surface of the profile, while moist-soil impoundments contained lower concentrations (TSS range = 307–531 (mg kg-1)) at the same depths. Increased salts in agricultural may be attributed to the lack of leaching afforded by smaller summer irrigations while larger periodic flooding events in winter and summer flood irrigations in moist-soil impoundments may serve as leaching events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1229-1239
Number of pages11
JournalWetlands
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 27 2014

Keywords

  • EC
  • Moist-soil management
  • SAR
  • Semi-arid wetlands
  • Soil salinity
  • Typic torrifluvent

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