Has anyone had experience using halophytes for salt bioremediation? I was wondering if the plants were harvested and either composted off-site, or used for fuel and/or fodder, or if they were left in situ? If they died in place would the biomass help distribute the salt layer, or does this method only work if the plants are removed? I'm looking at tamarix and atriplex specifically. Thanks.
The salt/ash/mineral that was in the soil is now in the plant, if you just chop and drop, it will not leave the soil. you will have to remove it from off the site. Maybe you could turn it into "hay" then grow mushroom in it, then burn the mushroom substrate for heat, and finally carry the ash/salt mineral residue off site
Some of the Grasses do well in salt remediation but you have to remove the materials that you used to gather the salts, this means as feed or some other use that gets the plant material out of the system so you aren't just "recycling" the salts.
If you have animals that will eat hay, that is a great way to get rid of your excess salts, the grazers love salt and they love salty hay, so that gets you a two for one scenario.
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Where is the salt coming from? Tamarix on the coast is very successful at first but it actually salts the land, accumulating salt in the needles that then drop to the floor. Tamarix near me a few metres from the shore thrives without irrigation and we get about 150mm rain per year. Nothing else grows in its patch. I've heard that after some years even the tamarix itself will die from salt, but ive not observed that happen so don't have an opinion on its validity.
In the context of halophytes a Salt is a compound that is made from minerals (like Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, etc) that is combined with Chlorine.
aka salt = containing Chlorine, in fact the salt that we add to snow to melt it is Calcium Chloride
Soils high in salt usually also have a high pH aka the water is hard aka it has alot of of dissolved solids.
The main difference between high pH and high salt is that high pH usually have carbonates+mineral (Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, etc) vs high salt have chlorine+mineral (Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium).
The question now becomes why does these soils have super high pH and or high salt but some other soils dont have it.
It is usually due to evaporation close to or exceeding "rainfall"
"Normally" the dissolved "salt" in the groundwater makes it to the sea and then it gets concentrated via evaporation, and it is that same evaporation process that is increase the salinity of the soil. In some soil near the salty sea water enters the ground water and fouls the freshwater water table.
I am also not too sure that dandelion causes soil compaction or that spinach cause high nitrate soil or that cactus causes desertification or that Tamarix causes high salinity soil more like they are indicator plants.
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