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salinity and plant growth

Leon Miguel lmiguel at uwa.edu.au
Thu Jan 30 08:19:42 EST 1997

: I'm doing a science project that will look at how legume seedlings
: respond given dilute solutions of various salts. In addition to NaCl,
: what other commonly accessible salts are available?

Sodium chloride will give you the most dramatic effect, as sodium 
chlroide not only decreases osmotic potential, but it is also directly 
toxic to plants. 

Magnesium sulfate is probbaly the most easily available salt (Epsom salts). 
Potassium chloride is available as "muriate of potash" ie a garden 
Calcium sulfate is poorly soluble, but small concentrations should 
increase growth. Available as gypsum.
Calcium carbonate is also insoluble. However, a saturated solution 
may be alkaline enough to inhibit nodulation.
Sodium bicarbonmate may also inhibit noduklation (ph about 8.2 of a fresh 
solution, CO2 and high pH inhibit nodulation)

Leon Miguel   
Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture (CLIMA)
University of Western Australia
Email: lmiguel at uniwa.uwa.edu.au     Phone: 61 9 380 1982

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