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Soil structure and salinity effects of fish farming as compared to traditional farming in northeastern Egypt

Hamed Abd El Mageed, Yasser LU (2008) In Land Use Policy 25(3). p.301-308
Abstract
Recently, fish farming instead of traditional agriculture has been seen as a way to increase agricultural profits from saline affected land. Concerns, however, have been raised that fish farming may increase the salinity problems. In the salinity affected soils of the El-Salam canal project area in Egypt, farmers are giving tip traditional farming for fish farming due to possibilities to increase their profits. The government, however, supports traditional agriculture in order to increase national income and secure food. The purpose of this study is to investigate and compare soil properties such as solute transport and soil salinity distribution for soil that has been used for fish farming as compared to traditional agriculture. This was... (More)
Recently, fish farming instead of traditional agriculture has been seen as a way to increase agricultural profits from saline affected land. Concerns, however, have been raised that fish farming may increase the salinity problems. In the salinity affected soils of the El-Salam canal project area in Egypt, farmers are giving tip traditional farming for fish farming due to possibilities to increase their profits. The government, however, supports traditional agriculture in order to increase national income and secure food. The purpose of this study is to investigate and compare soil properties such as solute transport and soil salinity distribution for soil that has been used for fish farming as compared to traditional agriculture. This was done by dye experiments and salinity readings at three experimental plots located within El-Salam Canal project area. The first plot represents natural soil without human influence. The second and third plot was used for 3 years for fish farming and traditional agriculture, respectively. Each plot was irrigated with a solution containing dye tracer for 3 days. On the day following the last day of irrigation, a trench was dug and 10 cm thick vertical slices were excavated and photographed. Soil bulk salinity and pore water salinity measurements through a grid of 1m width, 0.5m depth, and 10cm interval were taken. Soil samples were taken from different depths (10-50 cm). The dye pattern showed that solute transport at the fish farm site was small, reflecting low permeability. On the contrary, solute transport at the plot representing traditional agriculture was fairly large through the tillage layer (20cm). Salinity maps showed that traditional agriculture contributes to decreasing soil salinity by about 70% and making soil more uniform in salinity distribution. Salinity maps at the fish farming plot site showed insignificant decrease in soil salinity. There was also a clear heterogeneity in salinity distribution. The results appear to show that fish farming does not contribute to decrease in the soil salinity. Thus, increasing fish farming activities may lead to increasing soil salinity problems in agricultural lands. The results showed also that there is no evidence that soil properties are enhanced by fish farming. On the contrary, the soil nutrient state appears to be decreasing. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
El-Salam, canal, Egypt, soil structure, solute transport, fish farming, soil salinity
in
Land Use Policy
volume
25
issue
3
pages
301 - 308
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000255581600001
  • scopus:41549123516
ISSN
0264-8377
DOI
10.1016/j.landusepol.2007.08.006
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
12ddb10d-2aaf-4c60-9c20-462d2b72dd6d (old id 1204606)
date added to LUP
2008-09-17 14:36:04
date last changed
2017-01-01 05:59:59
@article{12ddb10d-2aaf-4c60-9c20-462d2b72dd6d,
  abstract     = {Recently, fish farming instead of traditional agriculture has been seen as a way to increase agricultural profits from saline affected land. Concerns, however, have been raised that fish farming may increase the salinity problems. In the salinity affected soils of the El-Salam canal project area in Egypt, farmers are giving tip traditional farming for fish farming due to possibilities to increase their profits. The government, however, supports traditional agriculture in order to increase national income and secure food. The purpose of this study is to investigate and compare soil properties such as solute transport and soil salinity distribution for soil that has been used for fish farming as compared to traditional agriculture. This was done by dye experiments and salinity readings at three experimental plots located within El-Salam Canal project area. The first plot represents natural soil without human influence. The second and third plot was used for 3 years for fish farming and traditional agriculture, respectively. Each plot was irrigated with a solution containing dye tracer for 3 days. On the day following the last day of irrigation, a trench was dug and 10 cm thick vertical slices were excavated and photographed. Soil bulk salinity and pore water salinity measurements through a grid of 1m width, 0.5m depth, and 10cm interval were taken. Soil samples were taken from different depths (10-50 cm). The dye pattern showed that solute transport at the fish farm site was small, reflecting low permeability. On the contrary, solute transport at the plot representing traditional agriculture was fairly large through the tillage layer (20cm). Salinity maps showed that traditional agriculture contributes to decreasing soil salinity by about 70% and making soil more uniform in salinity distribution. Salinity maps at the fish farming plot site showed insignificant decrease in soil salinity. There was also a clear heterogeneity in salinity distribution. The results appear to show that fish farming does not contribute to decrease in the soil salinity. Thus, increasing fish farming activities may lead to increasing soil salinity problems in agricultural lands. The results showed also that there is no evidence that soil properties are enhanced by fish farming. On the contrary, the soil nutrient state appears to be decreasing.},
  author       = {Hamed Abd El Mageed, Yasser},
  issn         = {0264-8377},
  keyword      = {El-Salam,canal,Egypt,soil structure,solute transport,fish farming,soil salinity},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {301--308},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Land Use Policy},
  title        = {Soil structure and salinity effects of fish farming as compared to traditional farming in northeastern Egypt},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2007.08.006},
  volume       = {25},
  year         = {2008},
}