Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/24/2003
Publication Date: 11/2/2003
Citation: FINOCCIARO, R., KREMER, R.J., FREDRICKSON, L.H. WASTEWATER EFFLUENT INDUCED SALINITY: EFFECTS ON SOIL MICROORGANISMS AND MOIST SOIL PLANTS. AGRONOMY ABSTRACTS. 2003. CD-ROM (UNPAGINATED). AMERICAN SOCIETY OF AGRONOMY. MADISON, WI.
Technical Abstract: Restoration and construction of wetlands often require alternative water sources because the natural hydrological regimes have been disrupted and are too costly to restore. One option is use of municipal wastewater effluent (WWE). Alternative water sources such as WWE can contain high levels of nutrients and salts, which may alter native wetland soils and vegetation. Near Columbia, MO, WWE is diverted to the Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area (EBCA) to help flood 1,740 ha of managed wetlands. Mean electrical conductivity of the WWE is 2 times higher than the main water source, the Missouri River (MOR). Vegetation and soil microbial responses were investigated in two soil textures irrigated with WWE or MOR. Soils were Sarpy fine sand (mixed, mesic, Typic Udipsamments) and Blake silt loam (fine-silty mixed superactive, calcareous, mesic, Aquic Udifluvents) collected in the Missouri River floodplain at EBCA. Irrigation with WWE reduced seed-bank germination, stem density and composition of native moist-soil plants. Microbial respiration and diversity parameters suggest that vegetative response to WWE may be due to increased soil salinity and sodicity rather than changes in soil microbial activity or composition. Understanding the effects of soil salinity and sodicity on native wetland soils and vegetation may contribute to optimal management of wetlands that rely on high saline/sodic water sources.