Effect of 10-year continuous saffron cultivation on physical and chemical properties of soil

Document Type : Full Article


1 Department of Water Engineering, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, I. R. Iran

2 Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, I. R. Iran


The effect of 10-year continuous saffron cultivation on physical and chemical properties of a silty clay loam soil was investigated in a research farm of College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz (52 º 33ʹ E Longitude and 29º 36ʹ N latitude), Iran. This farm was irrigated with different regimes (100% of saffron's potential evapotranspiration (ETp), 75%ETp, 50%ETp) including rain fed treatment under two irrigation methods (basin and furrow irrigation). The results showed that the values of electrical conductivity, sodium adsorption ratio, Arsenic, Boron and soil bulk density of soil in the root zone increased significantly, but the final infiltration rate decreased significantly compared to the original soil. The value of pH in 100%ETp and 75%ETp treatments decreased and in 50%ETp and rain fed treatments increased compared to the original soil. Corms under high irrigation treatment had more weight up to a 6-year cultivation. However, after that, the corm weight declined to levels equal to or less than the low irrigation treatment cases. The number of total corms increased up to 6 years of cultivation and decreased after that. So, the continuous saffron cultivation causes some undesirable change in soil chemical and physical properties, which become pronounced after 6 years of cultivation.


Main Subjects

Article Title [Persian]

اثر ده سال کشت مستمر زعفران بر خصوصیات فیزیکی و شیمیایی خاک

Authors [Persian]

  • مریم خزاعی 1
  • علی اکبر کامگار حقیقی 1
  • علیرضا سپاسخواه 1
  • نجفعلی کریمیان 2
1 دانشگاه شیراز
2 دانشگاه شیراز
Abstract [Persian]

اثر ده سال کشت مستمر زعفران بر خصوصیات فیزیکی و شیمیایی خاک ماسه- رسی- شنی در مزرعه تحقیقاتی دانشکده کشاورزی دانشگاه شیراز ( طول جغرافیایی ʹ 33 ◦52 و عرض جغرافیایی ʹ 36 ◦29) مورد بررسی قرار گرفت. این مزرعه با رژیم های مختلف آبیاری (100% ، 75% ، 50% تبخیر و تعرق پتانسیل زعفران) و تیمار دیم و تحت دو روش آبیاری کرتی و جویچه ای آبیاری می شد. نتایج نشان داد که مقادیر هدایت هیدرولیکی، نسبت جذبی سدیم، آرسنیک، بور و چگالی ظاهری خاک در منطقه ریشه افزایش معنی دار ولی سرعت نفوذ نهایی کاهش معنی داری در مقایسه با خاک بدون کشت داشت. میزان اسیدیته خاک در تیمار 100% تبخیر و تعرق پتانسیل و 75 % تبخیر و تعرق پتانسیل کاهش و در تیمار 50% تبخیر و تعرق پتانسیل و تیمار دیم در مقایسه با خاک بدون کشت افزایش یافت. پداژه ها تحت تیمار با آبیاری زیاد تا سال ششم کشت وزن بالایی داشتند در حالی که بعد از آن وزن پداژه ها به مقدار برابر یا کمتر از سطح آن در تیمار با آبیاری کم، کاهش یافتند. تعداد کل پداژه ها تا سال ششم کشت افزایش و سپس کاهش یافت. بنابراین کشت مستمر زعفران سبب تغییرات نامطلوبی در خصوصیات فیزیکی و شیمیایی خاک می گردد که بعد از سال ششم کشت خود را نشان می دهد.

Keywords [Persian]

  • آبیاری کرتی و جویچه ای
  • تبخیر –تعرق پتانسیل
  • تغییرات نامطلوب در خاک
Abedian, M.J., & Meharg, A.A. (2002). Relative toxicity of asenite and arsenate on germination and early seedling growth of rice (Oryza sativa L.). Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 243, 57–66.
Azizi Zohan, A., & Sepaskhah, A.R. (2002). The effect of leaching on soil improving and recultivation of saffron. The article abstract at Iran Seventh Congress of Agronomy, Karaj. P. 228. (In Persian)
  Biswas, N.R., Datta Raychaudhuri, S.P., & Dakshinamurthi, C.D. (1957). Soil conditions for growth of saffron at Pampore (Kashmir). Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 27(4), 413-418.
Blake, G.R., & Hartge, K.H. (1986). Bulk density. In: Klute, A. (Ed.),Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 1. Physical and Mineralogical Methods, second ed. Agronomy Monographs, 9. ASA-SSA, Madison, WI, 363–375.
Bondurant, J.A. (1957). Developing a Furrow Infiltrometer. Agricultural engineering, 602-604.
Bowman, R.D., & Mc Ginnies, W.J. (1985). Soil and vegetation relationship in central plants salt grass meadow. Journal of Range Management, 38, 325-328.
Brady, N.C., & Weil, R.R. (2002). The Nature and Properties of Soils, 13th ed. Prentic –n Hall, upper saddle River, NJ 07458.
Carbonel Barrachina, A.A., Burlo-Carbonel, F., & Mataix Beneyto, J. (1995). Arsenic uptake, distribution and accumulation in tomato plants: effect of arsenic on plant growth and yield. Journal of Plant Nutrition, 18, 1237–1250.
Celik, I. (2005). Land-use effects on organic matter and physical properties of soil in a southern Mediterranean highland of Turkey. Soil and Tillage Research, 83, 270–277.
Chalak Haghighi, S.M. (2002). Investigation of some Atriplex lentiformiscultivation effect on soil and plant cover  properties in Fars. M. Sc. thesis. College of Natural Resources. Tehran University, Tehran, I. R. Iran, 200p. 
Chapman, H.D., & Pratt, P.F. (1961). Methods of analysis for soil, plant and water, University of California, Division of Agricultural Sciences. Riverside, California.
Corwin, D., Lesh, S., Oster, J., & Kaffka, S. (2006). Monitoring management induced spatial-temporal changes in soil quality through soil sampling directed by apparent electrical conductivity. Geoderma, 131 (3–4), 369–387.
Fahong, W., Xuging, W., & Sayre, K. (2004). Comparison of conventional flood irrigated flat planting with furrow irrigated raised bed planting for winter wheat in china. Field Crops Research, 87, 35– 42.
Imamul Huq, S.M., Rahman, A., Sultana, S., & Naidu, R. (2003). Extent and severity of arsenic contamination in soils of Bangladesh. In: F. Ahmed, M.A., Ali, Z.A., (Eds.). Fate of arsenic in the environment. BUETUNU Int. Symp. Dhaka, Bangladesh, 69–84.
Jalali, A.K. (1962). Saffron in Kashmir. Prajna: Banaras Hindu University Journal, 7, 205-211.
Kiriiwa, Y., Ozawa, K., Yokota, H., Zaitsu, Y., Miyoshi, H., & Oishi, A. (1998). Effect of irrigation water quality on salt accumulation in soil and mineral contents of alfalfa in the United Arab Emirates.  Japanese Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 69, 348–354.
Kostiakov, A.N. (1932). on the dynamics of the coefficients of water percolation in soils and on the necessity of studying it from a dynamic point of view for purpose of amelioration.” Transactions of the 6th Comm. Int. Society of Soil Science, Part A (pp. 17–21).
Lewis, M.R. (1937). The rate of infiltration of water in irrigation practice. Trans., Am. Geophys. Union, 18, 361–368.
Malo, D.D., Schumacher, T.E., & Doolittle, J.J.M. (2005). Long-term cultivation impacts on selected soil properties in the northern Great Plains. Soil and Tillage Research, 81, 277–291
Masri, Z., & Ryan, J. (2006). Soil organic matter and related physical properties in a Mediterranean wheat-based rotation trial. Soil and TillageResearch, 87, 146–154.
Nair, S.C., Pannikar, B., & Pannikar, K.R. (1991).  Anti tumor activity of Saffron (Crocus sativus L.). Cancer Letter, 57, 109-114.
  Qarai, H., & Beigi, M. (1995). The study of changes in physicochemical and mineralogical properties of soil under saffron cultivation in Estahban. Report of Research, Department of Iran Scientific and Industrial Research, Shiraz, 37 p.  
Rangahau, M.K. (2003). Growing saffron-the world’s most expensive spice. Crop and Food Research, 20, 1-4.
Ranjan Bhattacharyya, S., Chandra, R.D., Kundu, S., Srivastva, H.S., & Gupta, A.K.  (2007). Long-term farmyard manure application effects on properties of a silty clay loam soil under irrigated wheat–soybean rotation. Soil & Tillage Research, 94, 386–396
Rhoades, J.D. (1982). Soluble salts, In: Page, A.L., Miller, R.H., Keeney, D.R. (Eds.), Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 2. Chemical and Microbiological Properties, 2nd ed. Agronomy, 9,167–179.
Riffaldi, R., Aviozzi, A.S., Levi Minzi, R., & Menchetti, F. (1994). Chemical characteristics of soil after 40 years of continuous maize cultivation, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 49(3), 239-245.
Sampathu, S.R., Shivashankar, S., & Lewis, Y.S. (1984). Saffron (Crocus Sativus L.) - Cultivation, processing, chemistry and standardization. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 20(2), 123-157.
Tedeschi, A., & Dell'aquilla, R. (2005). Effects of irrigation with saline waters at different concentration, on soil physical and chemical characteristics. Agricultural water management, 77 (1–3), 308–322.
Ullah, S.M. (1998). Arsenic contamination of groundwater and irrigated soils of Bangladesh.In: International conference on arsenic pollution of groundwater in Bangladesh: causes, effects and remedies. DCH, Dhaka, Bangladesh (pp.133).
Weiping, C., Laosheng, Wu, Andrew, C., & Chang zhenan, H. (2009). Assessing the effect of long-term crop cultivation on distribution of Cd in the root zone. Ecological Modeling, 220, 1836–1843.
Welsch, E.P., Crock, J.G., & Sanzolone, R. (1990). Trace-level determination of arsenic and selenium using continuous-flow hydride generation atomic absorption spectrophotometry (HG-AAS). In: Arbogast, B.F., (Ed.), Quality assurance manual for the branch of geochemistry. Open- File Rep. 90–0668. U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, 38– 45.