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First and second-year assessments of the rapid reconstruction and re-vegetation method for reclaiming two saline–sodic, coastal soils with drip-irrigation

Li, Xiao-bin, Kang, Yao-hu, Wan, Shu-qin, Chen, Xiu-long, Chu, Lin-lin, Xu, Jia-chong
Ecological engineering 2015 v.84 pp. 496-505
coastal soils, coasts, field experimentation, groundwater, landscapes, leaching, microirrigation, ornamental plants, plant growth, rapid methods, saline sodic soils, saline soils, saline water, salinity, sodicity, soil matric potential, soil profiles, soil salinity, tillage, water conservation
Soil salinity, sodicity and saline groundwater are major constraints to the cultivation of landscape plants along oceanic coasts. A sustainable approach for reclaiming saline–sodic soils in coastal environments is evaluated. Soil tillage, phased saline water management based on soil matric potential under drip-irrigation, and the installation of a gravel–sand layer were used. Field trials using the method showed that the proposed approach had the advantages of considerable water conservation, more effective salt leaching and successful re-vegetation with desired species. Severely saline soils became non-saline within the 0–40cm soil profile after one year and non-saline to moderately saline within the 0–120cm depth after two years. The approach can rather quickly create an attractive landscape and maintain good plant growth. Plants representing nearly 30 landscape species, including some sensitive to salinity were proposed. Plantings showed survival up to 90% after one and two years. This approach demands less water, improves the ecological environments, and will inspire development of coastal areas.