Salinity Indicator Plants Home | S0 (Non Saline) | S1 (Slightly Saline) | S2 (Moderately Saline) | S3 (Highly Saline) | S4 (Extremely Saline)
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|S0 (Non Saline)
ECe range: < 2 dS/m
Description: Non saline.
- No vegetation appears affected by salinity and a wide range of plants present.
|S1 (Slightly Saline)
ECe range: 2 - 4 dS/m
Description: Slightly saline
- Salt tolerant species such as Sea Barley-grass are often abundant.
- Salt sensitive plants in general show a reduction in number and vigour and salt sensitive legumes (eg. white and sub–clover, soybeans, chick pea, etc.) in particular are affected.
- At the upper end of the range, grasses and shrubs may be prominent in the plant community.
- There are no bare saline patches and no salt stain/crystals are evident on bare ground.
| S2 (Moderately Saline)
ECe range: 4 – 8 dS/m
Description: Moderately saline
- Salt tolerant species begin to dominate the vegetation community and all salt sensitive plants are markedly affected by soil salinity levels.
- At the upper end of the range, some slightly tolerant species disappear and are replaced by others with higher salt tolerance. Legumes are almost non-existent as the plant community is dominated by grasses, shrubs and flat weeds.
- Small bare areas up to 1 m2 may be present and salt stain/crystals may sometimes be visible on bare soil at the upper end of the range.
| S3 (Highly Saline)
ECe range: 8 – 16 dS/m
Description: Highly saline
- Salt tolerant species like Sea Barley-grass and Buck’s Horn-plantain may dominate large areas and only salt tolerant plants remain unaffected.
- In low rainfall areas it is unlikely that any improved species will be present and trees may be showing some effect ie. dieback and stagginess.
- Large, bare saline areas may occur showing salt stains or crystals (on some soils a dark organic stain may be visible), or the top soil may be flowery or puffy with some plants surviving on small pedestals and the B horizon may be exposed in some areas.
- In moderate to high rainfall areas, bare patches may be minimal but vegetation will be dominated by one or two highly salt-tolerant plant species (e.g. Puccinellia, Spurrey, Gahnia).
- In higher rainfall regions, where soils may be waterlogged or flooded for considerable periods of time, some plant species display both salt tolerance and waterlogging tolerance. In drier areas, salt tolerant plants generally do not have high waterlogging tolerance.
- At the upper end of the range, halophytic plants may dominate the plant community and some species may show a reddening of the leaves.
| S4 (Extremely Saline)
ECe range: > 16 dS/m
Description: Extremely saline
- Only highly salt tolerant plants survive and the community will be dominated by 2 or 3 species. Moderately and highly salt tolerant species may show a reddening of the leaves and at the upper end of the range even highly salt tolerant plants may be scattered and in poor condition.
- Trees will be dead or dying.
- Extensive bare saline areas occur with salt stains and or crystals evident (on some soils a dark organic stain may be visible). Top soil may be flowery or puffy with some plants surviving on small pedestals and the B horizon may be exposed in some areas.