Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
Original research article
03 Mar 2023
Original research article |  | 03 Mar 2023

Wetting and drying cycles, organic amendments, and gypsum play a key role in structure formation and stability of sodic Vertisols

Sara Niaz, J. Bernhard Wehr, Ram C. Dalal, Peter M. Kopittke, and Neal W. Menzies

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Cited articles

Abiven, S., Menasseri, S., and Chenu, C.: The effects of organic inputs over time on soil aggregate stability – A literature analysis, Soil Biol. Biochem., 41, 1–12, 2009. 
Bennett, J. M., Cattle, S., Singh, B., and Quilty, J.: Influence of gypsum enhanced chicken-manure-and-wheat-straw compost on amelioration of an irrigated sodic brown vertisol–laboratory experiment, Arid Land Res. Manag., 29, 415–431, 2015. 
Borken, W. and Matzner, E. J.: Reappraisal of drying and wetting effects on C and N mineralization and fluxes in soils, Glob. Change Biol., 15, 808–824, 2009. 
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Brangarí, A. C., Lyonnard, B., and Rousk, J.: Soil depth and tillage can characterize the soil microbial responses to drying-rewetting, Soil Biol. Biochem., 173, 108806,, 2022. 
Short summary
Sodic soils affect ~580 Mha in semi-arid and arid regions of the world. These soils have a weak structure. This laboratory study evaluated treatments to overcome the weak aggregate structure in two sodic Vertisols by applying organic amendments, gypsum, and wetting–drying cycles. We conclude that sodic soils need to be treated with gypsum to flocculate clay and organic amendments (lucerne or chicken manure) to form aggregates, whereas drying cycles aid in small macroaggregates formation.