What is it about?

The reclamation of salt-affected soils is considered a slow process that urges the development of faster recovery strategies as a priority. The present article aimed at investigating the effect of mixing different chemical and organic conditioners on the growth of Atriplex and its salt extraction efficiency during its early growth stage. A pot experiment was conducted on saline-sodic Cambisol cultivated with Atriplex for 60 days and subjected to the following conditioner mixtures: Atriplex; Atriplexþgypsumþorganic matter; Atriplexþelemental sulfurþorganic matter; and Atriplexþgypsumþelemental sulfurþorganic matter. The mixtures of conditioners did not affect the Atriplex growth, but caused significant increase in Naþ and Cl contents in the dry matter of Atriplex plants. Additionally, there was an increase in the Atriplex’s ability of extracting salt due to the application of the mixtures. Results suggest that the “gypsumþorganic matter” mixture is preferable for a faster recovery of salts/sodium affected soils through phytoremediation by Atriplex plants, mainly due to a more significant increase in the efficiency of salt absorption.

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Why is it important?

The applications of soil conditioner mixtures do not increase significantly the biomass of Atriplex plants, however their employment for a rapid recovery of saline soils is justified by the fact that they promote significant increases in the extraction of toxic ions of the soil, such as Naþ and Cl still in the early growth of the plant. This was proved in the present study by the higher levels of Naþ and Cl in the plants that received applications of soil conditioners mixtures, as well as by the optimization of Naþ Transfer Factor, Naþ Absorption Efficiency and the Phytoremediation Potential of Atriplex plants, compared to plants that did not receive soil conditioners. Among the tested mixtures of soil conditioners, the “gypsumþorganic matter” mixture stood out from the others since it promoted greater increase in Sodium Absorption Efficiency, which contributed to the higher content of this element and the Naþ/Kþ in the Atriplex plants. Results suggest, then, that gypsumþorganic matter is preferable for a faster recovery of soils affected by salts/sodium through the phytoremediation by Atriplex plants.

Perspectives

I hope this article can encourage researchers to regenerate salt-affected soil from several semiarid regions around the globe.

Luiz Guilherme Pessoa
Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco

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This page is a summary of: Do applications of soil conditioner mixtures improve the salt extraction ability of Atriplex nummularia at early growth stage?, International Journal of Phytoremediation, October 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/15226514.2019.1678109.
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