Definition - What does Soil Salinity mean?
Soil salinity is a term used to describe the salt content within soil. Salt is a naturally occurring mineral within soil and water that affects the growth and vitality of plants.
Soil salinity can be influenced through several different factors ranging from human influence to environmental causes. If the salt content becomes high, the soil becomes known as sodic soil and can present many difficulties when used as a growing medium.
MaximumYield explains Soil Salinity
Over a long period of time, soil minerals release salts. These salts can then be flushed out by soil drainage or precipitation. Additionally, salts can be deposited into the soil by dust, or over time through the overuse of irrigation.
Some areas have naturally occurring saline soils, like places in Africa and the Middle East, while others have a much lower salinity, such as Europe and North America.
There are several different consequences when soil has a high salt content. First and foremost, a high salinity is detrimental to plant growth, vitality, and yield.
Although some salt is a necessity for plant growth, too much salt will result in a plant that suffers from dehydration, yield decline, or death.
When planting in soil that may have a high saline content, it is important to know the salinity tolerance of individual crops.