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Year: 2009  |  Volume: 19  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 465 - 475

Calcareous sodic soil reclamation as affected by corn stalk application and incubation: A laboratory study

LI Fa-Hu and R. KEREN    

Abstract: A laboratory lysimeter experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of forage corn (Zea mays L.) stalk application on the CO2 concentration in soil air and calcareous sodic soil reclamation. The experimental treatments tested were soil exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) levels of 1, 11, and 19, added corn stalk contents of 0 to 36 g kg-1, and incubation durations of 30 and 60 days. The experimental results indicated that corn stalk application and incubation significantly increased CO2 partial pressure in soil profile and lowered pH value in soil solution, subsequently increased native CaCO3 mineral dissolution and electrolyte concentration of soil solution, and finally significantly contributed to reduction on soil sodicity level. The reclamation efficiency of calcareous sodic soils increased with the added corn stalk. When corn stalks were added at the rates of 22 and 34 g kg-1 into the soil with initial ESP of 19, its ESP value was decreased by 56% and 78%, respectively, after incubation of 60 days and the leaching of 6.5 pore volumes (about 48 L of percolation water) with distilled water. Therefore, crop stalk application and incubation could be used as a choice to reclaim moderate calcareous sodic soils or as a supplement of phytoremediation to improve reclamation efficiency.

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