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Water 2018, 10(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10010031

Experimental Study on the Potential Use of Bundled Crop Straws as Subsurface Drainage Material in the Newly Reclaimed Coastal Land in Eastern China

1
Key Laboratory of Efficient Irrigation-Drainage and Agricultural Soil-Water Environment in Southern China of Ministry of Education, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
2
College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 29 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wetlands for the Treatment of Agricultural Drainage Water)
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Abstract

Initial land reclamation of the saline soils often requires higher drainage intensity for quick leaching of salts from the soil profile; however, drainage pipes placed at closer spacing may result in higher cost. Seeking an inexpensive degradable organic subsurface drainage material may satisfy such needs of initial drainage, low investment and a heathy soil environment. Crop straws are porous organic materials that have certain strength and endurance. In this research, we explored the potential of using bundled maize stalks and rice straws as subsurface drainage material in place of plastic pipes. Through an experimental study in large lysimeters that were filled with saline coastal soil and planted with maize, we examined the drainage performance of the two organic materials by comparing with the conventional plastic drainage pipes; soil moisture distribution, soil salinity changed with depth, and the crop information were monitored in the lysimeters during the maize growing period. The results showed that maize stalk drainage and the rice straw drainage were significantly (p < 0.05) more efficient in removing salt and water from the crop root zone than the plastic drainage pipes; they excelled in drainage rate, leaching fraction, and lowering water table; and their efficient drainage processes lowered salt stress in the crop root zone and resulted in a slightly higher level of biomass. The experimental results suggest that crop straws may be used as a good organic substitute for the plastic drainage pipes in the initial stage land reclamation of the saline coastal soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: subsurface drainage; soil salinity; salt leaching; maize stalk; rice straw subsurface drainage; soil salinity; salt leaching; maize stalk; rice straw
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Lu, P.; Zhang, Z.; Feng, G.; Huang, M.; Shi, X. Experimental Study on the Potential Use of Bundled Crop Straws as Subsurface Drainage Material in the Newly Reclaimed Coastal Land in Eastern China. Water 2018, 10, 31.

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