Salinity Classification – Low (subsoil salinity 2 – 4 dS/m ECe)

Sensitive plants start to be visibly affected on the saltland site, there is reduced vigour of annual legumes and the most salt sensitive (eg sub-clover) disappear. The vigour and yield of some grain legumes are affected, but cereals are generally not visibly affected by low salinity levels. Low/moderate waterlogging would indicate that the watertable was not consistently above 0.3m in winter or 1.0m in summer.

Indicator species for low/moderate waterlogging:

Capeweed, annual ryegrass, barley grass, woolly clover, smooth heliotrope, pigweed, ice plant, windmill grass, prairie grass, burr medic.

Sown pasture species such as Italian ryegrass, Rhodes grass, kikuyu, Persian clover, gland clover, balansa clover, lucerne, barrel medic, phalaris, or tall fescue 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