Effects of Sulphate and Chloride Soil Salinity on Growth and Needle Composition of Siberian Larch

Carter, M.R.

Canadian Journal of Plant Science 60(3): 903-910


ISSN/ISBN: 0008-4220
DOI: 10.4141/cjps80-132
Accession: 068494115

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Greenhouse and field studies were conducted to assess the salinity tolerance of Siberian larch (Larix siberica L.) under conditions found on the Canadian prairies. In greenhouse studies top and root growth of Siberian larch seedlings began to decline under sulphate salinity between 2.0 and 5.3 mmhos/cm (electrical conductivity of saturation paste extract) indicating that Siberian larch is moderately salt-tolerant. The addition of chloride caused an initial top growth decrease, chlorosis, and reduction in survival between 1.4 and 3.6 mmhos/cm; the latter salinity level being associated with 20 meq/L of Cl and 1.5% Cl in the saturation paste extract and needles, respectively. Field studies conducted under naturally occurring sulphate salinity indicated that height of 10-yr-old Siberian larch began to decline between 3.5 and 4.0 mmhos/cm. Changes in needle mineral composition were related to the ratio or increase of ions in the soil solution, and the physiological effect of the sulphate and chloride anion. In general, presence of chloride salinity caused a greater increase to occur in the cation content of the needles than sulphate salinity. Accumulation of organic anions in the needles was also related to cation concentration and needle chlorosis.