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Proper measurement of electrical conductivity and other parameters influence profile salinity and sodicity under different land uses

Datta, Ashim, Mandal, A.K., Yadav, R.K.
Ecological indicators 2019
adsorption, alkalinity, electrical conductivity, environmental indicators, exchangeable sodium, farms, field capacity, land restoration, land use, pH, rhizosphere, saline soils, salinity, sodic soils, sodicity, sodium, soil salinity
The selection of appropriate method for analysis of soil salinity and alkalinity is key issue in determining accuracy of the estimate for further land reclamation. The soil saturated paste extract in general and at certain context soil: water ratio of 1:5 for large scale soil (even beyond the farm scale) analysis of saline soils are commonly followed due to its high to moderate levels of reliability. It has been noted in the paper published by Yu et al. (2018) that they have followed soil: water ratio of 1:5 for estimation of pH, EC (Electrical conductivity), SAR (Sodium Adsorption Ratio) etc. for characterizing salinity and alkalinity changes under different land uses. For salinity sodicity characterization, saturated paste extraction is preferred over other ratios as it most closely represents the actual field condition near field capacity within the root zone. The critical limit of ECe is 4.0 dS m-1 to be qualified as saline soil while Yu et al. (2018) considered on average EC (1:5) of 0.6 dS m-1 which may not represent the established critical level. Moreover, the exchangeable sodium percentage is an important criteria (>15%) for characterization of sodic soil. In absence of such data it is difficult to understand the accuracy of characterization of sodic soils in the study area. In absence of well-equipped laboratory for soil salinity/sodicity determinations it may be possible that the analysis of such soils may lead to certain level of inaccuracy and interpretation which may not be useful for further proper land reclamation. It may be resolved only by an exchange of thoughts/views which will be beneficial to the scientific community.