• Plant Induced Soil Salinity Patterns in Two Saltbush (Atriplex Spp.) Communities

      Sharma, M. L.; Tongway, D. J. (Society for Range Management, 1973-03-01)
      A detailed examination was made into the soil salinity distribution of two Atriplex communities, A. vesicaria and A. nummularia, established at regular spacings on two soil types. The results based on total soluble salts and chlorides suggested that both saltbush species induced significantly higher salinity in the 0-15 cm soil horizon beneath the bush canopies compared to between the bushes, although A. nummularia induced significantly higher salinity than A. vesicaria on both the soils. The pH was also significantly increased under the bushes, but only for the 0-7.5 cm layer. A mechanism for plant-induced soil salinity is proposed by which distinct zones of salt depletion, accumulation and compensation are established. It is suggested that the accumulation of significantly large quantities of salt in the surface layer under the bushes occurred as a result of decomposition of large quantities of salt-rich leaves and fruits. This salt is mainly derived from the soil profile under the plant. Implications of the spatial variability in soil salinity are discussed.