A linear mixed effect (LME) model for soil nutrients and soil salinity changes based on two localized irrigation techniques (drip irrigation and buried diffuser)

  • Ines GasmiEmail author
  • Basem Aljoumani
  • Jose A. Sànchez-Espigares
  • Mohamed Mechergui
  • Mohamed Moussa
Original Paper


The sustainable management of irrigation water in arid regions poses a challenge in the face of water scarcity and climate change. This study was carried out on an arid area under greenhouse conditions. A modeling approach was used to analyze the effect of two irrigation techniques (drip irrigation and a new irrigation technique called buried diffuser) on repeated measurements of soil nutrients (organic matter (OM), total nitrogen (TN), nitrate (NO3-N), ammonia (NH4+-N), available phosphorus (AP), and available potassium (AK)), sodium (Na+), and electrical conductivity (EC) at different depths of the sampling sites within the root zone of a pepper crop using two irrigation treatments: T1 (100% of reference crop evapotranspiration (ET)) and T2 (50% of reference crop evapotranspiration (ET)). As a result, the buried diffuser system significantly improves the soil nutrient levels, especially in regard to OM, TN, NO3-N, AP, and AK, with considerable enhancement of pepper yield for the two irrigation treatments, T1 and T2. Moreover, the buried diffuser keeps the field in better soil salinity conditions than drip irrigation.


Soil nutrients Soil salinity Soil nutrients Arid area Drip irrigation Buried diffuser Linear mixed model 


Funding information

This study was financially supported by the Laboratory of Eremology and Combating Desertification, Institut des Régions Arides Medenine, Tunisia.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Eremology and Combating DesertificationInstitut des Regions AridesMedenineTunisia
  2. 2.Department of Ecology, Ecohydrology and Landscape EvaluationTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of Statistical and Operational ResearchUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)BarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Agricultural Engineering Waters and ForestsInstitut National AgronomiqueTunisTunisia

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