Here is another paper where we look at an important process called hydraulic redistribution in saline soils. In a few words, this process moves soil water from wet to dry soil areas though the plant roots (for example from the groundwater up to the dry surface soil). By moving soil water to areas where they would otherwise not be, hydraulic redistribution results in a range of ecological and hydrological consequences and has been found to significantly affect plant survival in many drought affected environments, with clear management implications for agriculture.
One key characteristic of saline soils is that they are highly heterogeneous and patch and the salinity of the soil can vary from close to zero to several times seawater over relatively short distances salinities. So, why are there no reports of hydraulic redistribution in saline soils, moving water from non saline saline areas to saline areas? In this paper we bring forward some hypothesis that could explain why hydraulic redistribution might be very limited or cannot occur plants in saline soils.
Going back to my first post, increased food production for a rising world population is forcing agriculture into marginal, salt affected lands. In this context, it is important to understand plant responses in saline soils (from ion accumulation in the roots/leaves to understanding whether water can be transferred from the less saline areas of the soil to the more saline ones) as these could potentially have important management implications (such as crop selection and irrigation management) in saline landscapes.