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Original Research

Impact of Dry Climate on the Distribution of Mineral Elements in Soil Layers and its Relationship with Plant Development

Bushra Ahmed Al-Hammad, Magda Magdy Abd El-Salam.

Aim: This study evaluates the effect of dry climate on mineral distribution in soil and its correlation with their plant growth.
Methods: Soil samples from different depths (0.0-100 cm) and ten developing plants above them were collected for one year from three districts (Old-Dir’iyah, Jenadriah and Muzahimiyah) in Riyadh, KSA.
Results: The results revealed that all soil samples had alkaline pH and contain high total carbonates concentrations. Total dissolved salts recorded the highest content in Muzahimiyah area under Zygophyllum migahidii, Moricandia sinaica and Heliotropium bacciferum plants which indicates their high-salinity tolerance. Chemical analysis of soil samples showed great variation in the anions and cations content. Among the studied anions in soil samples, sulphate had the highest record while phosphorus was the lowest. Calcium and iron were the highest and the lowest cations found in soil content respectively. Sodium, potassium and magnesium were varied in different regions among different soil depths under the plants. Accumulation of sodium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and total carbonates were recorded in the studied plants which assist them to confront drought in both the summer and winter. Results showed that there is variation in ash content among different plants.
Conclusion: Mineral persistence inside plants revealed their defiance to drought.

Key words: minerals, nutrients, soil, plants, drought, climate.

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