Latest News on Soil chemistry : April 21

[1] The four laws of soil chemistry: the Leeper lecture 1998

The proposed 4 laws of soil chemistry are: ions react with charged surfaces; soil surfaces are heterogeneous; an initial adsorption reaction is followed by a penetration of the adsorbed ions into the interior of the reacting particles; and it is impossible to re-apply fertiliser to the same soil because the soil has changed. These laws can explain the observed behaviour of the reactions of cations and anions with soil. These include the effects of the level of application, period of reaction, effects of temperature, interactions between pH and salt concentration, desorption, and the isotopic exchangeability.

[2] Soil chemistry and mineral problems in farm livestock. A review

A review is made of the influence of soil chemistry and soil characteristics on the occurrence of mineral problems in farm livestock, with major emphasis on ruminants maintained on pastures and forages. The review is developed in two sections: (1) a general discussion of factors affecting transfer of elements through the soil—plant—animal complex, with some reference to techniques employed in assessing problems of animal health; (2) a more detailed review of certain mineral deficiency and toxicity conditions in livestock caused by specific elements for which a relationship with soil properties has been clearly demonstrated on an international basis. This includes phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, copper, molybdenum, cobalt, selenium, iodine and fluorine. The relationships are, in general, quite complex and affected not only by geology and soil chemistry but by climate, intensity of the agricultural systems, nature of the vegetative cover and characteristics and management of the grazing animal.

[3] Direct and Indirect Effects of Invasive Plants on Soil Chemistry and Ecosystem Function

Invasive plants have a multitude of impacts on plant communities through their direct and indirect effects on soil chemistry and ecosystem function. For example, plants modify the soil environment through root exudates that affect soil structure, and mobilize and/or chelate nutrients. The long-term impact of litter and root exudates can modify soil nutrient pools, and there is evidence that invasive plant species may alter nutrient cycles differently from native species. The effects of plants on ecosystem biogeochemistry may be caused by differences in leaf tissue nutrient stoichiometry or secondary metabolites, although evidence for the importance of allelochemicals in driving these processes is lacking. Some invasive species may gain a competitive advantage through the release of compounds or combinations of compounds that are unique to the invaded community—the “novel weapons hypothesis.” Invasive plants also can exert profound impact on plant communities indirectly through the herbicides used to control them. Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the world, often is used to help control invasive weeds, and generally is considered to have minimal environmental impacts. Most studies show little to no effect of glyphosate and other herbicides on soil microbial communities.

[4] Modifying soil chemistry to enhance heathland recreation: a use for sulphur captured during oil refining

The overall aim of this paper is to evaluate potential new modifications to methods for re-creating heathland habitats. Heathlands need acidic soils so the specific objectives are to evaluate the effectiveness of a new method for heathland re-creation by soil acidification using a sulphur soil amendment and to explore the benefits for re-creation of applying a soil stripping treatment in conjunction with soil acidification. A new source of sulphur was recovered from oil refinery towers and applied over agricultural sites covering a total of 13 ha on Trehill Farm, Marloes, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK in 2004. In the summer of 2011 we compared soil chemistry and plant communities on sites subjected to different sulphur treatments (sulphur applied to the existing soil surface and sulphur applied after top soil had been stripped) with those on an adjacent untreated control and on a nearby established heathland. Each of the four treatment sites and the control and heath site was surveyed using 10 random locations measuring 4m x 4m.

[5] Effects of Poultry Manure on Some Soil Chemical Properties and Nutrient Bioavailability to Soybean

Organic manures are known to be rich sources of both macro and micro nutrients of the crop. They also help in improving the physical status of the soil. Pot experiments were carried out to determine the effects of poultry manure on some soil chemical properties pH, organic C, available P, exchangeable Ca, Mg, K, Na, and Effective Cation Exchange Capacity i.e. ECEC) and dry matter yields, plant heights, concentrations of N, P and K in plant tissues of soybean plants. Five soil samples collected from research farms in Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Odeda, Ayetoro, Ibadan, Ikenne in South Western Nigeria, were used for the screen house pot experiment. Treatments consisted of five rates of poultry manure (0, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5 and 10 t ha-1) and 100 kg ha-1 of NPK 20:10:10 fertilizer as basal application. The pot experiments were conducted at the Research Farm of FUNAAB. Experimental design was Completely Randomised Design (CRD) with three replicate. Soybean (TGx 1448-2E) was grown for three consecutive cycles of seven weeks per cycle and both soil and plant samples were collected and analysed. Application of poultry manure significantly increased organic carbon, exchangeable bases and effective cation exchange capacity in the soils, concentrations of N, P and K in plant tissue.



[1] Barrow, N.J., 1999. The four laws of soil chemistry: the Leeper lecture 1998. Soil Research37(5), pp.787-830.

[2] Reid, R.L. and Horvath, D.J., 1980. Soil chemistry and mineral problems in farm livestock. A review. Animal Feed Science and Technology5(2), pp.95-167.

[3] Weidenhamer, J.D. and Callaway, R.M., 2010. Direct and indirect effects of invasive plants on soil chemistry and ecosystem function. Journal of chemical ecology36(1), pp.59-69.

[4] Green, I.D., Evans, D. and Diaz, A., 2015. Modifying soil chemistry to enhance heathland recreation: A use for sulphur captured during oil refining. International Journal of Plant & Soil Science6(5), pp.272-282.

[5] Soremi, A.O., Adetunji, M.T., Adejuyigbe, C.O., Bodunde, J.G. and Azeez, J.O., 2017. Effects of poultry manure on some soil chemical properties and nutrient bioavailability to soybean. Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, pp.1-10.

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