African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6839

Full Length Research Paper

Reclamation of saline and saline-sodic soils using gypsum and leaching water

Giovanna Cucci1*, Giovanni Lacolla1, Mauro Pallara2 and Rocco Laviano2
1Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Bari “A. Moro”, Bari, Italy. 2Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e Geoambientali, University of Bari “A. Moro”, Bari, Italy.
Email: [email protected]. Tel:

  •  Accepted: 26 November 2012
  •  Published: 20 December 2012


The results of a two-year research aiming to evaluate the effects of corrective treatments on two saline-sodic soils are reported. The trial was carried out in cylindrical pots (high 0.6 m and with a diameter of 0.4 m), provided with a bottom control device to collect drainage water, and located under shed, to avoid rain leaching effect. The two clay soils: Saline and saline-sodic resulting from a four-year experiment in which different crops had been irrigated with 9 solutions obtained by dissolving in distilled water the appropriate amounts of NaCl and CaClby the factorial combination of three salt concentrations and three SAR levels (5, 15 and 45). During the subsequent two-year period, the soils were cropped to barley and borlotto bean and irrigated with freshwater (ECw = 0.5 dS m-1 and SAR = 0.45) whenever the soil contained in the pots lost by evapotranspiration 30% of the maximum available water (MAW). The corrective treatments were carried out by applying CaSO4 to the soils with ESP>6% and leaching fractions equal to 20% of the watering volume to the most saline soils and proportionally lower fractions to the less saline soils, in order to reach, in the drainage water, electrical conductivity (EC) and sodium absorption ratio (SAR) values of 3 dS m-1 and 9, respectively. The reclamation treatments reduced significantly soil salinity and sodicity: Electrical conductivity of the saturation extract (ECe) decreased on average from 12.34 to 3.66 dS m-1; the exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) dropped by 50.93 and 41.41% respectively for Bologna and Locorotondo soils.


Key words: Soil reclamation, gypsum requirement, saline soils, saline-sodic soils.