Sorption of dissolved organic matter in salt-affected soils: effect of salinity, sodicity and texture. Academic Article uri icon


  • Loss of dissolved organic matter (DOM) from soils can have negative effects on soil fertility and water quality. It is known that sodicity increases DOM solubility, but the interactive effect of sodicity and salinity on DOM sorption and how this is affected by soil texture is not clear. We investigated the effect of salinity and sodicity on DOM sorption in soils with different clay contents. Four salt solutions with different EC and SAR were prepared using combinations of 1M NaCl and 1M CaCl(2) stock solutions. The soils differing in texture (4, 13, 24 and 40% clay, termed S-4, S-13, S-24 and S-40) were repeatedly leached with these solutions until the desired combination of EC and SAR (EC(1:5) 1 and 5dSm(-1) in combination with SAR <3 or >20) was reached. The sorption of DOC (derived from mature wheat straw) was more strongly affected by SAR than by EC. High SAR (>20) at EC1 significantly decreased sorption in all soils. However, at EC5, high SAR did not significantly reduce DOC sorption most likely because of the high electrolyte concentration of the soil solution. DOC sorption was greatest in S-24 (which had the highest CEC) at all concentrations of DOC added whereas DOC sorption did not differ greatly between S-40 and S-4 or S-13 (which had higher concentrations of Fe/Al than S-40). DOC sorption in salt-affected soil is more strongly controlled by CEC and Fe/Al concentration than by clay concentration per se except in sodic soils where DOC sorption is low due to the high sodium saturation of the exchange complex.

publication date

  • October 1, 2012