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Salt affected soils: monitoring, risk assessment and effects on plants
Convener: Konstantin Ivushkin  | Co-Conveners: Sjoerd E.A.T.M. van der Zee , Albino Maggio , Luis Santos Pereira , Hongbo Shao , Vanessa Wong 
 / Fri, 28 Apr, 13:30–15:15
 / Attendance Fri, 28 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Soil salinity may be due to a variety of causes such as water logging and a certain salinity of ground water, and use of marginal waste water (such as brackish ground water or treated waste water). Whereas these causes are well known, still not always accumulated salts are leached out sufficiently to avoid problems. These problems may lead to a yield reduction of agricultural crops or poor crop quality, even up to the level where alternative more salt tolerant crops may have to be chosen. In addition, soluble salts may be exported from the root zone by adequate leaching, to ground water and surface water. In the latter case, salinity problems may be invoked in a downstream direction. Salinity problems have indicated the need for appropriate soil monitoring, risk assessment, and mitigation and remediation strategies. Each of these needs is characterized by its own complications. For instance, salinity may cause crop yield or quality reduction due to osmotic, toxicity, or induced nutrient deficiency effects, of which so far only the osmotic effects are well accounted for in risk assessment software for salt accumulation in soil. Also, soil monitoring by non-invasive (e.g. geophysical) methods may be possible for salinity, but difficult for salt induced soil sodicity effects as structure deterioration. For remote sensing of salinity, advanced technologies exist (e.g. aerial and satellite remote sensing), that all rely on a proper translation using ground truth (often invasive). On the global extent with more than 100 countries affected and spreading rate of 2 000 000 ha per year, it is important to have an overview of the various sides of the state-of-the-art of soil salinity research and the related technologies. It is our aim to determine the current status of research, to develop an agenda for further actions. This involves among others that we consider innovative agricultural management approaches and monitoring techniques, and obtain a better understanding of the physical, chemical, and physiological processes in soil and plants. On this session we are welcoming studies on soil salinity monitoring, both using traditional and innovative techniques, studies on soil salinity mitigation and saline land reclamation, plant-soil interaction and hydrological studies in the context of soil salinity.