Salinity Classification – High (subsoil salinity 8-16 dS/m ECe)

Even salt tolerant plants are affected at this level of salinity. Annual legumes are completely absent and even the most salt tolerant cereals (barley and cereal rye) are highly restricted by the conditions. Sea barley grass often dominates these highly saline sites. Bare areas are likely to be present – these may be large if uncontrolled grazing by sheep is allowed. Trees may be dying on and around the site. Low/moderate waterlogging would indicate that that the watertable was not consistently above 0.1m in winter or 0.7m in summer.

Indicator species for low/moderate waterlogging:

Sea barley grass, small leaf bluebush, buck’s horn plantain, ice plant, stonecrop, salt sand spurrey, bushy starwort, beard grass, orache, wavy-leaf saltbush. Sown saltland species such as river saltbush, old man saltbush, golden wreath wattle or tall wheatgrass may also be present.

 

Download the 'nypa scale' conversion chart

Table 2. Suggested classification system for categorisation of soil salinity in Australia (Barrett-Lennard et al. 2008b)

SUGGESTED
TERM
ECe RANGE
(dS/m)
FOR SANDS EC1:5 RANGE
FOR LOAMS
FOR CLAYS TYPICAL PLANTS
AFFECTED
Non-saline 0-2 0–0.14 0–0.18 0–0.25 -
Low salinity 2–4 0.15–0.28 0.19–0.36 0.26–0.50 Beans
Moderate salinity 4–8 0.29–0.57 0.37–0.72 0.51–1.00 Barley
High salinity 8–16 0.58–1.14 0.73–1.45 1.01–2.00 River saltbush,
saltwater couch
Severe salinity 16–32 1.15–2.28 1.46–2.90 2.01–4.00 Puccinellia
Extreme salinity >32 >2.29 >2.91 >4.01 Samphire

For more information on indicator species, see the SALTdeck Cards