Selection of a halophyte that could be used in the bioreclamation of salt-affected soils in arid and semi-arid regions
Vegetative bioremediation or bioreclamation of salt-affected soils is an economic solution mainly for developing countries since chemical additions are becoming increasingly expensive. However, to be efficient, this approach needs sufficient irrigation. In this investigation, we evaluated the ability of some halophytes to desalinize a saline soil under non-leaching conditions with the aim of selecting appropriate species that could be used for this purpose in arid and semi-arid regions where precipitation is too low to leach salts from the rhizosphere. Three perennial species were used in this experiment: Arthrocnemum indicum (Willd.) Moq., Suaeda fruticosa Forsk., and Sesuvium portulacastrum L. Seedlings were grown on a saline soil under greenhouse conditions and irrigated with tap water for 170 days. Irrigations were carried out with almost no leaching. Soil salinity was significantly reduced in halophyte-grown soil as compared to the control. Plants were able to decrease the soil electrical conductivity by absorbing soluble salts, mainly sodium ions. Among the three studied species, Sesuvium portulacastrum L. was the most productive and was able to accumulate in shoots nearly 30% of the sodium content of each pot over the 170 days. Thus, Sesuvium portulacastrum L. seems to be the most promising species for saline soil desalination in arid and semi-arid regions.
KeywordsSoil Electrical Conductivity Sodic Soil Cation Exchange Site Sesuvium Portulacastrum Sufficient Irrigation
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