Two fixed ratio dilutions for soil salinity monitoring in hypersaline wetlands

Juan Herrero, David C. Weindorf, Carmen Castañeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Highly soluble salts are undesirable in agriculture because they reduce yields or the quality of most cash crops and can leak to surface or sub-surface waters. In some cases salinity can be associated with unique history, rarity, or special habitats protected by environmental laws. Yet in considering the measurement of soil salinity for long-term monitoring purposes, adequate methods are required. Both saturated paste extracts, intended for agriculture, and direct surface and/or porewater salinity measurement, used in inundated wetlands, are unsuited for hypersaline wetlands that often are only occasionally inundated. For these cases, we propose the use of 1:5 soil/water (weight/weight) extracts as the standard for expressing the electrical conductivity (EC) of such soils and for further salt determinations. We also propose checking for ion-pairing with a 1:10 or more diluted extract in hypersaline soils. As an illustration, we apply the two-dilutions approach to a set of 359 soil samples from saline wetlands ranging in ECe from 2.3 dS m-1 to 183.0 dS m-1. This easy procedure will be useful in survey campaigns and in the monitoring of soil salt content.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0126493
JournalPloS one
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 22 2015

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