Influence of lime and gypsum on long-term rehabilitation of a Red Sodosol, in a semi-arid environment of New South Wales

Bennett, J. McL. and Greene, R. S. B. and Murphy, B. W. and Hocking, P. and Tongway, D. (2014) Influence of lime and gypsum on long-term rehabilitation of a Red Sodosol, in a semi-arid environment of New South Wales. Soil Research, 52 (2). pp. 120-128. ISSN 1838-675X


This paper determines the influence of lime and gypsum on the rehabilitation of a degraded sodic soil in a semi-arid environment 12 years after application. The aim was to assess alternate rehabilitation strategies for sodic soils to the application of gypsum alone. An experimental site where lime and gypsum combinations (L0G0 – lime 0 t ha-1 and gypsum 0 t ha-1, L0G1, L0G2.5, L0G5, L1G0, L2.5G0, L5G0, L1G1, and L2.5G1) had been applied 12 years prior in 1994 was used. An earlier study had reported on the effects after 3 years of the chemical ameliorants and tillage on a range of soil physical and chemical properties at the site. However, this current study, sampled in 2006, assessed the effects after 12 years of lime and gypsum on soil chemistry, stability, hydraulics, vegetative growth and soil respiration. Calcium, primarily from lime, was observed to have a major effect on soil health. Significant effects on soil chemistry were limited to increases in exchangeable calcium and decreases in exchangeable magnesium, although aggregate stability in water and hydraulic conductivity were significantly improved where L5G0 was applied. Vegetation patch width, total nitrogen and carbon, and soil respiration were significantly improved where lime had been added at 2.5 or 5 t/ha. As no lime could be detected in the soil 12 years after application, it was deduced that lime had acted as a catalyst for increased functionality in soil and vegetation interactions. This increased soil functionality resulted in an increased rate of lime dissolution in the soil.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published Version restricted in accordance with publisher copyright policy (CSIRO).
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2014 12:27
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2019 04:45
Uncontrolled Keywords: gypsum, lime, rehabilitation, sodicity, soil health, soil structure
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050302 Land Capability and Soil Degradation
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9612 Rehabilitation of Degraded Environments > 961202 Rehabilitation of Degraded Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9614 Soils > 961402 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Soils
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1071/SR13118

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