Establishing woody perennials on hostile soils in arid and semi-arid regions: a review

Azam, Gausul and Grant, Cameron D. and Nuberg, Ian K. and Murray, Robert S. and Misra, Rabindra K. (2012) Establishing woody perennials on hostile soils in arid and semi-arid regions: a review. Plant and Soil, 360 (1-2). pp. 55-76. ISSN 0032-079X


Background and aims: Woody perennials can be difficult to establish on harsh soils in arid and semi-arid regions. Historically, technological advances have focussed on methods to improve transplanting and direct-seeding but the available information on these advances remains fragmented and the edaphic factors have been largely ignored. This review explores the literature on plant establishment and identifies soil properties that limit plant response in harsh environments.
Conclusions: We reveal that some woody perennials are particularly well-adapted to dry conditions and can also help reclaim degraded landscapes. Furthermore, the environmental and phenological factors that limit the success of direct seeding are well understood but the edaphic factors are not. For example, seedbed preparation and subsoil amelioration before seeding have not been evaluated in dry regions. Seed-priming and seed-placement are also poorly understood, as is the tolerance of woody perennials to different salt types in waterlogged soils of extreme pH and high soil strength. The reason why woody perennials can penetrate strong, hard soils is not obvious from the literature. They apparently cannot exert root growth pressures of the same magnitude as domesticated plants, so they must be able to exploit soil biopores and cracks more efficiently. Other gaps in our understanding of the soil factors that limit woody perennial establishment on hostile soils are identified.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online 30 Mar 2012. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2013 05:41
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2018 06:30
Uncontrolled Keywords: direct seeding; hard soils; low rainfall; native plants; soil-root interactions; transplanting
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0705 Forestry Sciences > 070507 Tree Improvement (Selection and Breeding)
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050303 Soil Biology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960811 Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/s11104-012-1215-6

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