A Single-Season Irrigated Rice Soil Presents Higher Iron Toxicity Risk in Tropical Savannah Valley Bottoms


With the aim of finding the geochemical differences and helping to build alleviating strategies against iron toxicity, two hematite dominant valley bottoms irrigating rice soils were investigated in the Tropical Savannah region of Burkina Faso. The first site was Tiefora, a 15-ha modern double-season irrigated rice system and moderately affected by iron toxicity (10% of the area with a toxicity score of 4). The second site was Moussodougou, a 35-ha traditional singleseason irrigated rice valley-bottom, with 50% facing more severe iron toxicity (score 7). Nine soil extracts were taken from three depths—30, 50 and 100 cm—i.e. 27 at Tiefora and 27 at Moussodogou. Five techniques were used to measure the data: 1) the ferrous iron concentration was determined using a reflectometer, 2) a pH-meter yielded the pH, 3) clay-proportions were obtained by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grain size analysis and densitometry, 4) the organic matter was determined by oven drying (900℃) and v) the dry bulk density was determined by using undisturbed soil samples. Statistical hypothesis testing of One-way ANOVA and Welch t-test was applied to the data to isolate the similarities and the differences between the two sites. A geochemical analysis followed to find the causes of these differences. The results showed that while oxidation of pyrite leads to a simultaneous increase in Fe2+ concentrations and acidity in the soils of coastal floodplains and mangroves, the oxidation of hematite in Tropical savannah valley bottoms decreases Fe2+ but also increases acidity during the dry season. As a consequence, it was found that the single-season irrigation scheme Moussodougou is significantly (p-value 0.4%) more acidic (pH 5.7) than the double-season system of Tiefora (6.4) with also 750 - 1800 mg/l higher ferrous Fe2+. The ferrous iron reached 3000 mg/l in some layers in Moussodougou. This result is a justification to modernize a traditional single-season spate irrigation schemes into a double-season irrigated rice scheme.

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A. Keita, H. Yacouba, L. Hayde and B. Schultz, "A Single-Season Irrigated Rice Soil Presents Higher Iron Toxicity Risk in Tropical Savannah Valley Bottoms," Open Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 3 No. 7, 2013, pp. 314-322. doi: 10.4236/ojss.2013.37036.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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