The effect of soil surfactants on soil hydrological behavior, the plant growth environment, irrigation efficiency and water conservation
Soil water repellency causes at least temporal changes in the hydrological properties of a soil which result in, among other things, suboptimal growing conditions and increased irrigation requirements. Water repellency in soil is more widespread than previously thought and has been identified in many soil types under a wide array of climatic conditions worldwide. Consequences of soil water repellency include loss of wettability, increased runoff and preferential flow, reduced access to water for plants, reduced irrigation efficiency, increased requirement for water and other inputs, and increased potential for non-point source pollution. Research indicates that certain soil surfactants can be used to manage soil water repellency by modifying the flow dynamics of water and restoring soil wettability. This results in improved hydrological behavior of those soils. Consequently, the plant growth environment is also improved and significant water conservation is possible through more efficient functioning of the soil.
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