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Abstract

The feasibility of measuring soil salinity with electromagnetic induction (EM) for determining riparian restoration potential was investigated on a 28-hectare plot at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico. The plot was cleared of exotic Tamarix chinensis (saltcedar), surveyed and gridded into 1370.2 hectare sections. Soil samples and EM measurements were taken at each section. We compared laboratory-determined ECe values from the soil samples with ECa values calculated from the EM measurements using a model developed by Rhoades et al. (1990). Direct comparison of ECe values determined from the two methods yields a low correlation due to sample-size differences but the calculated ECa was able to accurately predict whether the measured ECe would lie above or below some threshold value. An assessment of general site suitability for riparian restoration with electromagnetic induction has proven to be a rapid, accurate, and cost-effective alternative to intensive soil sampling.