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Reclamation of saline soils through revegetation in Australia: plants, processes and people

Barrett-Lennard, E.G. (2008) Reclamation of saline soils through revegetation in Australia: plants, processes and people. In: XXI International Grassland Congress/VIII International Rangeland Congress, 29 June - 5 July 2008, Hohhot, China

Abstract

Secondary salinity (salinity induced by human activity) is a major world problem. Hydrological imbalances in landscapes cause watertables to rise, drawing salt from deeper in the soil profile to the soil surface, where the combined stresses of salinity and waterlogging threaten the growth of crops and pastures. The reversal of salinity by the broad-scale reintroduction of perennial plants back into landscapes may not be economically feasible, but watertables may be at least partly directly drawn-down by the growth of salt tolerant plants (halotypes) on saltland. This review summarises data from Australia in which the water use by perennial halotypes has been sufficient to facilitate the growth of the less salt tolerant under-storey legumes balansa clover (Trifolium michelianum) and burr medic (Medicago polymorpha). Although the halophytes may have undesirable nutritive value traits, these plants, mixed with the under-storey species are then able to be utilised profitably by grazing sheep.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Conference Website: https://www.internationalgrasslands.org/
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/43626
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