African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6693

Full Length Research Paper

Growth response and ameliorative effect of a forage plant (Festuca arundinacea) in calcareous saline-sodic soils

Salih Aydemir1* and Halime Sünger (Akıl)2
1Department of Soil Science and Plant Fertility, Faculty of Agriculture, Harran University,  63200, Åžanliurfa, Turkey. 2Trade Stock Market Branch of Undersecretary of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economy,63100, Åžanliurfa, Turkey.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 12 December 2011
  •  Published: 04 February 2012


Saline-sodic soils are characterized by the occurrence of salt and sodium (Na+) to levels that can adversely affect several soil properties and growth of most crops. In this study, we reported a pot experiment for studying the biomass production, ion accumulation and potential soil ameliorative effects of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) grown under calcareous saline-sodic soil conditions. Seed-derived plants of F. arundinacea, were grown in pots filled with three different soils collected from two saline-sodic areas and one non-saline area. Results revealed that F. arundinacea biomass production was reduced under saline-sodic soils almost twice as much as non-saline soil. Herbage Ca2+ and Mg2+ concentration were the highest in non-saline soil but Na+, K+ and Cl- values were the highest in saline-sodic soils. Salty characteristics of the soils led to increased concentrations of Na+ and Cl- elements in the plants. F. arundinacea plantation in saline-sodic soils reduced the soil initial ECe values to 2.1 and 3.41 units, respectively. Plants stimulated calcite dissolution and increased soil soluble Ca2+ content. This lowered the initial exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) values of saline-sodic soils from 23 and 26% to 19 and 22%, respectively. At harvest, the plants removed approximately 20 and 33 kg salt ha-1 from the saline-sodic soils, respectively.


Key words: Soil salinity, saline-sodic soils, Festuca arundinacea, forage plants, soil reclamation, phytoremediation.