Reclaimed Salt-affected Soils can Effectively Contribute to Carbon Sequestration and Food Grain Production: Evidence from Pakistan

Zia Ur Rahman Farooqi* (Corresponding Author), Muhammad Sabir, Hamaad Raza Ahmad, Muhammad Shahbaz, Joanne Smith* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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Salt-affected soil reclamation provides opportunities for crop production and carbon sequestration. In arid region such as Pakistan, limited studies have been reported to involving soil reclamation and crop production under a wheat-maize rotation, but no study has reported prediction of long-term carbon sequestration in reclaimed soils for these treatments used in this study. So,
a field scale fallow period and crop production experiment was conducted for a wheat-maize rotation on salt-affected soils in Pakistan for 3 years to check the effectiveness of organic amendments for reclamation of the salt-affected soils, carbon sequestration and food grain production. Treatments used were the control (with no additional amendments to reduce salinity), gypsum alone and
gypsum in combination with different organic amendments (poultry manure, green manure, and farmyard manure). The treatment with gypsum in combination with farmyard manure was most effective at increasing soil carbon (+169% over the three-year period of the trial). The maximum wheat yield was also recorded in year 3 with gypsum in combination with farmyard manure (51%), while the effect of green manure combined with gypsum also showed a significant increase in maize yield in year 3 (49%). Long-term simulations suggested that the treatments would all have a significant impact on carbon sequestration, with soil C increasing at steady state from 0.53% in the control to 0.86% with gypsum alone, 1.25% with added poultry manure, 1.69% with green manure and 2.29% with farmyard manure. It is concluded that food crops can be produced from freshly reclaimed salt-affected soils, and this can have added long-term benefits of carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation
Original languageEnglish
Article number1436
Number of pages28
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number3
Early online date21 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding: This research was funded by Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan, grant number 518-75399-2PS5-005 and the APC was funded through bench fee by International Research Support Initiative Program (IRSIP) through by HEC, award number IRSIP-45-BMS-75.
Acknowledgments: The primary author want to acknowledge the Modelling Group, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, UK for providing all the facilities required in drafting of this manuscript.


  • soil degradation
  • soil properties
  • food securities
  • food crops
  • carbon sink


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