Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Risk Assessment of Soil Salinization due to Tomato Cultivation in Mediterranean Climate Conditions

Version 1 : Received: 11 September 2018 / Approved: 11 September 2018 / Online: 11 September 2018 (15:29:31 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Libutti, A.; Cammerino, A.R.B.; Monteleone, M. Risk Assessment of Soil Salinization Due to Tomato Cultivation in Mediterranean Climate Conditions. Water 2018, 10, 1503. Libutti, A.; Cammerino, A.R.B.; Monteleone, M. Risk Assessment of Soil Salinization Due to Tomato Cultivation in Mediterranean Climate Conditions. Water 2018, 10, 1503.

Journal reference: Water 2018, 10, 1503
DOI: 10.3390/w10111503

Abstract

Mediterranean climate is marked by arid climate conditions in summer, therefore, crop irrigation is crucial to sustain plant growth and productivity in this season. If groundwater is utilized for irrigation, an impressive water pumping is needed to satisfy crop water requirements at catchment scale. Consequently, irrigation water quality gets worse, specifically considering groundwater salinization near the coastal areas due to seawater intrusion, also triggering soil salinization. With reference to an agricultural coastal area in the Mediterranean basin (Southern Italy), close to the Adriatic sea, an assessment of soil salinization risk due to processing tomato cultivation was carried out. A simulation model was arranged to perform, on daily basis, a water and salt balance along the soil profile. Long-term weather data and soil physical parameters representative of the considered area were utilized in applying the model, also considering three salinity levels of irrigation water. Based on the climatic analysis performed and the model outputs, the probability of soil salinity came out very high, such as to seriously threaten tomato yield. Autumn-winter rainfall resulted frequently insufficient to leach excess salts away from the soil profile and reach sustainable conditions of tomato cultivation. Therefore, alternative cropping strategies were prospected.

Subject Areas

groundwater salinization; soil salinization; salinization risk assessment; climate analysis; water balance; salinity balance; salt leaching; processing tomato; crop yield decrease.

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