Seasonal performance and spatial heterogeneity of soil salt ions in a semiarid orchard of northwest China

Quanen Guo, Tianwen Guo, Zhongming Ma, Zongxian Che, Lili Nan, Yiquan Wang, Jairo A. Palta, Youcai Xiong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The relationship between spatial and temporal dynamics of major salt ions and their toxicology is still unclear, particularly in perennial orchard fields. A seasonal soil sampling was conducted from Apr. to Oct. 2011 in a salinized orchard soil in semiarid northwest China. Soil moisture content and concentrations of total soluble salt and eight salt ions were measured every 2 weeks in the soil at 0 to 2, 2 to 5, 5 to 10, 10 to 15, 15 to 20, 20 to 25, 25 to 40, 40 to 60, 60 to 80, and 80 to 120 cm during the growing period of apple trees. Soil moisture content decreased early in the growth season (Period 1) but with increasing rainfall in the middle of growing season (Period 2 and Period 3) and reached a maximum at late season (Period 4) at all depths. Soil salt concentration increased along with soil profile, particularly in the 60- to 120-cm soil layer at all periods. The highest soil salt level was observed in Period 4. The contents of HCO3-, Ca2+ , and Mg2+ were almost uniform in all soil layers, but the contents of Cl-, SO42-, and Na+ increased with soil layer. The content of K+ decreased from the upper to the deeper layers of soil profile. The distribution of CO32- had a high temporal and spatial heterogeneity with soil depths and season. Analysis of the charge balance on positive and negative salt ions indicated that the horizontal movement of ions and the transfer of soil water were likely the driving factors affecting soil salinization. The movement of Na+ and Mg2+ ions in the top soil may be responsible for rhizospheric ions composition and toxin effect to restrain apple tree growth in the early growth period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-661
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


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