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Soil Science
Levy, G.J., Inst. of Soil, Water/Environ. Sci., Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet-Dagan 50-250, Israel
Mamedov, A.I., Inst. of Soil, Water/Environ. Sci., Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet-Dagan 50-250, Israel
Goldstein, D., Inst. of Soil, Water/Environ. Sci., Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet-Dagan 50-250, Israel
Aggregate slaking is one of the main mechanisms responsible for the breakdown of aggregates. Exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) and electrolyte concentration (C) of the soil solution play a significant role in determining soil physical properties and the response of soil clays to dispersion and swelling. However, studies of sodicity and C effects on aggregate stability have yielded inconsistent results. Our objective was to evaluate the effects of sodicity and C on aggregate slaking in soils with different clay contents. Using the high-energy-moisture-characteristics (HEMC) method, we studied aggregate slaking in 56 samples of Israeli topsoils varying in clay content (80-675 g kg-1) and ESP levels (0-30). In this method, accurately controlled wetting of the aggregates (i.e., the driving force for slaking) was the only force exerted on the aggregates. Aggregates (0.5-1.0 mm) were placed in a funnel equipped with a fritted disk and, using a peristaltic pump, were wetted either fast (100 mm h-1) or slowly (2 mm h-1). Two salinity levels were studied: dionized water (DW, C = 0.04 mmolc L-1) and saline water (SW, C = 20 mmolc L-1). Thereafter, the aggregates were subjected to stepwise increases in matric potential up to 5.0 J kg-1 to obtain a moisture retention curve that served as the base for calculation of aggregate susceptibility to slaking. The latter was expressed in terms of stability ratio (SR). The SR of low ESP soils increased from 0.298 to 0.751 and from 0.508 to 0.799 for DW and SW, respectively, with the increase in soil clay content from 11.3 to 67.4%. Increase in ESP decreased SR (i.e., enhanced aggregate slaking), whereas use of SW increased SR compared with DW. A triple interaction among ESP, C, and clay content (P = 0.001) in their effect on aggregate slaking suggested that the combined effects of these variables on slaking were complex. Our results suggested that: (i) in soils having inherently low aggregate stability (clay < 25%) use of SW was effective in decreasing aggregate slaking at ESP ≤ 5, and (ii) for inherently stable soils (clay > 35%), aggregate slaking decreased upon use of SW only when ESP > 15.
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Sodicity and water quality effects on slaking of aggregates from semi-arid soils
168
Levy, G.J., Inst. of Soil, Water/Environ. Sci., Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet-Dagan 50-250, Israel
Mamedov, A.I., Inst. of Soil, Water/Environ. Sci., Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet-Dagan 50-250, Israel
Goldstein, D., Inst. of Soil, Water/Environ. Sci., Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet-Dagan 50-250, Israel
Sodicity and water quality effects on slaking of aggregates from semi-arid soils
Aggregate slaking is one of the main mechanisms responsible for the breakdown of aggregates. Exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) and electrolyte concentration (C) of the soil solution play a significant role in determining soil physical properties and the response of soil clays to dispersion and swelling. However, studies of sodicity and C effects on aggregate stability have yielded inconsistent results. Our objective was to evaluate the effects of sodicity and C on aggregate slaking in soils with different clay contents. Using the high-energy-moisture-characteristics (HEMC) method, we studied aggregate slaking in 56 samples of Israeli topsoils varying in clay content (80-675 g kg-1) and ESP levels (0-30). In this method, accurately controlled wetting of the aggregates (i.e., the driving force for slaking) was the only force exerted on the aggregates. Aggregates (0.5-1.0 mm) were placed in a funnel equipped with a fritted disk and, using a peristaltic pump, were wetted either fast (100 mm h-1) or slowly (2 mm h-1). Two salinity levels were studied: dionized water (DW, C = 0.04 mmolc L-1) and saline water (SW, C = 20 mmolc L-1). Thereafter, the aggregates were subjected to stepwise increases in matric potential up to 5.0 J kg-1 to obtain a moisture retention curve that served as the base for calculation of aggregate susceptibility to slaking. The latter was expressed in terms of stability ratio (SR). The SR of low ESP soils increased from 0.298 to 0.751 and from 0.508 to 0.799 for DW and SW, respectively, with the increase in soil clay content from 11.3 to 67.4%. Increase in ESP decreased SR (i.e., enhanced aggregate slaking), whereas use of SW increased SR compared with DW. A triple interaction among ESP, C, and clay content (P = 0.001) in their effect on aggregate slaking suggested that the combined effects of these variables on slaking were complex. Our results suggested that: (i) in soils having inherently low aggregate stability (clay < 25%) use of SW was effective in decreasing aggregate slaking at ESP ≤ 5, and (ii) for inherently stable soils (clay > 35%), aggregate slaking decreased upon use of SW only when ESP > 15.
Scientific Publication
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