Base Cations (base + cation)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Cation exchange in forest soils: the need for a new perspective

D. S. Ross
Summary The long-term sustainability of forest soils may be affected by the retention of exchangeable nutrient cations such as Ca2+ and the availability of potentially toxic cations such as Al3+. Many of our current concepts of cation exchange and base cation saturation are largely unchanged since the beginnings of soil chemistry over a century ago. Many of the same methods are still in use even though they were developed in a period when exchangeable aluminium (Al) and variable charge were not generally recognized. These concepts and methods are not easily applicable to acid, highly organic forest soils. The source of charge in these soils is primarily derived from organic matter (OM) but the retention of cations, especially Al species, cannot be described by simple exchange phenomena. In this review, we trace the development of modern cation exchange definitions and procedures, and focus on how these are challenged by recent research on the behaviour of acid forest soils. Although the effective cation exchange capacity (CECe) in an individual forest soil sample can be easily shown to vary with the addition of strong base or acid, it is difficult to find a pH effect in a population of different acid forest soil samples. In the very acidic pH range below ca 4.5, soils will generally have smaller concentrations of adsorbed Al3+. This can be ascribed to a reduced availability of weatherable Al-containing minerals and a large amount of weak, organic acidity. Base cation saturation calculations in this pH range do not provide a useful metric and, in fact, pH is modelled better if Al3+ is considered to be a base cation. Measurement of exchangeable Al3+ with a neutral salt represents an ill-defined but repeatable portion of organically complexed Al, affected by the pH of the extractant. Cation exchange in these soils can be modelled if assumptions are made as to the proportion of individual cations that are non-specifically bound by soil OM. Future research should recognize these challenges and focus on redefining our concepts of cation retention in these important soils. [source]

The effect of organic acids on base cation leaching from the forest floor under six North American tree species

F. A. Dijkstra
Summary Organic acidity and its degree of neutralization in the forest floor can have large consequences for base cation leaching under different tree species. We investigated the effect of organic acids on base cation leaching from the forest floor under six common North American tree species. Forest floor samples were analysed for exchangeable cations and forest floor solutions for cations, anions, simple organic acids and acidic properties. Citric and lactic acid were the most common of the acids under all species. Malonic acid was found mainly under Tsuga canadensis (hemlock) and Fagus grandifolia (beech). The organic acids were positively correlated with dissolved organic carbon and contributed significantly to the organic acidity of the solution (up to 26%). Forest floor solutions under Tsuga canadensis contained the most dissolved C and the most weak acidity among the six tree species. Under Tsuga canadensis we also found significant amounts of strong acidity caused by deposition of sulphuric acid from the atmosphere and by strong organic acids. Base cation exchange was the most important mechanism by which acidity was neutralized. Organic acids in solution from Tsuga canadensis, Fagus grandifolia, Acer rubrum (red maple) and Quercus rubra (red oak) were hardly neutralized while much more organic acidity was neutralized for Acer saccharum (sugar maple) and Fraxinus americana (white ash). We conclude that quantity, nature and degree of neutralization of organic acids differ among the different tree species. While the potential for base cation leaching with organic acids from the forest floor is greatest under Tsuga canadensis, actual leaching with organic anions is greatest under Acer saccharum and Fraxinus americana under which the forest floor contains more exchangeable cations than does the strongly acidified forest floor under Tsuga canadensis. [source]

Biological control of beech and hornbeam affects species richness via changes in the organic layer, pH and soil moisture characteristics

Anne Mieke Kooijman
Summary 1. ,Litter quality is an important ecosystem factor, which may affect undergrowth species richness via decomposition and organic layers directly, but also via longer-term changes in soil pH and moisture. The impact of beech trees with low-degradable and hornbeam trees with high-degradable litter on biodiversity and soil characteristics was studied in ancient forests on decalcified marl, a parent material sensitive to changes in pH and clay content, and characteristic of large parts of western Europe. 2. ,Vegetation analysis clearly separated beech and hornbeam plots, and showed that species richness was consistently lower under beech. Low species richness under beech was associated with low pH, high mass of the organic layer and low soil moisture, which were all interrelated. 3. ,Development of the organic layer was affected by, not only litter quality, but also by pH levels and soil moisture. Under hornbeam, older organic matter increased from almost zero to 1 kg m,2 in drier and more acid soil. Under beech tree litter decay was generally slow, but slowed further in acid soils, where older organic matter amounted to 4 kg m,2. 4. ,Soil moisture and pH levels were strongly related, possibly due to long-term soil development. Under hornbeam, which is more palatable to soil organisms, moisture, bulk density, clay content and pH were high. Acidification and clay eluviation may be counteracted by earthworms, which bring base cations and clay particles back to the surface, and stimulate erosion, so that the impermeable, clay-rich subsoil remains close to the surface. Soils remain base-rich and moist, which further stimulates litter decay and species richness. 5. ,The unpalatable beech showed low pH and clay content, and high porosity, air-filled pore space and depth to the impermeable subsoil. Acidification and clay eluviation may proceed uninhibited, because earthworm activity is low, and erosion limited by protective litter covers. This may lead to drier and more acid soils, which reduce litter decay and species richness even further. 6. ,Trees with low and high litter quality may thus act as an ecosystem engineer, and not only affect ecosystem functioning via mass of the organic layer, but also via longer-term changes in soil characteristics, which in turn affect species richness of the understorey. [source]

Baseflow and peakflow chemical responses to experimental applications of ammonium sulphate to forested watersheds in north-central West Virginia, USA,

Pamela J. Edwards
Abstract Stream water was analysed to determine how induced watershed acidification changed the chemistry of peakflow and baseflow and to compare the relative timing of these changes. Two watersheds in north-central West Virginia, WS3 and WS9, were subjected to three applications of ammonium sulphate fertilizer per year to induce acidification. A third watershed, WS4, was the control. Samples were collected for 8 years from WS9 and for 9 years from WS3. Prior to analyses, concentration data were flow adjusted, and the influence of natural background changes was removed by accounting for the chemical responses measured from WS4. This yielded residual values that were evaluated using robust locally weighted regression and Mann,Kendall tests. On WS3, analyte responses during baseflow and peakflow were similar, although peakflow responses occurred soon after the first treatment whereas baseflow responses lagged 1,2 years. This lag in baseflow responses corresponded well with the mean transit time of baseflow on WS3. Anion adsorption on WS3 apparently delayed increases in SO4 leaching, but resulted in enhanced early leaching losses of Cl and NO3. Leaching of Ca and Mg was strongly tied, both by timing and stoichiometrically, to NO3 and SO4 leaching. F -factors for WS3 baseflow and peakflow indicated that the catchment was insensitive to acid neutralizing capacity reductions both before and during treatment, although NO3 played a large role in reducing the treatment period F -factor. By contrast, the addition of fertilizer to WS9 created an acid sensitive system in both baseflow and peakflow. On WS9, baseflow and peakflow responses also were similar to each other, but there was no time lag after treatment for baseflow. Changes in concentrations generally were not as great on WS9 as on WS3, and several ions showed no significant changes, particularly for peakflow. The lesser response to treatment on WS9 is attributed to the past abusive farming and site preparation before larch planting that resulted in poor soil fertility, erosion, and consequently, physical and chemical similarities between upper and lower soil layers. Even with fertilizer-induced NO3 and SO4 leaching increases, base cations were in low supplies and, therefore, unavailable to leach via charge pairing. The absence of a time lag in treatment responses for WS9 baseflow indicates that it has substantially different flow paths than WS3. The different hydrologies on these nearby watersheds illustrates the importance of understanding watershed hydrology when establishing a monitoring programme to detect ecosystem change. Published in 2002 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Extraction of mobile element fractions in forest soils using ammonium nitrate and ammonium chloride

Alexander Schöning
Abstract The extraction of earth alkaline and alkali metals (Ca, Mg, K, Na), heavy metals (Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb) and Al by 1 M NH4NO3 and 0.5 M NH4Cl was compared for soil samples (texture: silt loam, clay loam) with a wide range of pH(CaCl2) and organic carbon (OC) from a forest area in W Germany. For each of these elements, close and highly significant correlations could be observed between the results from both methods in organic and mineral soil horizons. The contents of the base cations were almost convertible one-to-one. However, for all heavy metals NH4Cl extracted clearly larger amounts, which was mainly due to their tendency to form soluble chloro complexes with chloride ions from the NH4Cl solution. This tendency is very distinct in the case of Cd, Pb, and Fe, but also influences the results of Mn and Zn. In the case of Cd and Mn, and to a lower degree also in the case of Pb, Fe, and Zn, the effect of the chloro complexes shows a significant pH dependency. Especially for Cd, but also for Pb, Fe, Mn, Zn, the agreement between both methods increased, when pH(CaCl2) values and/or contents of OC were taken into account. In comparison to NH4Cl, NH4NO3 proved to be chemically less reactive and, thus, more suitable for the extraction of comparable fractions of mobile heavy metals. Since both methods lead to similar and closely correlated results with regard to base cations and Al, the use of NH4NO3 is also recommended for the extraction of mobile/exchangeable alkali, earth alkaline, and Al ions in soils and for the estimation of their contribution to the effective cation-exchange capacity (CEC). Consequently, we suggest to determine the mobile/exchangeable fraction of all elements using the NH4NO3 method. However, the applicability of the NH4NO3 method to other soils still needs to be investigated. [source]

Adsorption of Magnesium by Bottom Soils in Inland Brackish Water Shrimp Ponds in Alabama

Harvey J. Pine
Low-salinity (2.0,9.0 g/L) well waters used for inland culture of marine shrimp in Alabama are imbalanced with respect to ionic composition. Inputs of potassium (muriate of potash) and potassium-magnesium sulfate (Kmag®) fertilizers are used to correct these imbalances. Potassium is lost in overflow and intentional discharge, seepage, and through adsorption by bottom soils by exchangeable and non-exchangeable processes. This study was initiated to determine if bottom soils removed magnesium in the same manner as potassium. Laboratory soil,water mesocosms revealed that soils strongly adsorbed magnesium. The rate of adsorption tended to decline over time, indicating establishment of the equilibrium. Magnesium losses for the three soils ranged from 1405 to 1713 mg/tank (average = 1568 mg/tank). The cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the soils varied from 10.4 to 44.0 cmolc/kg (average = 24.6cmolc/kg). The decline in magnesium increased with higher soil CEC. In another trial, repeated exposures of soils to solutions of 40 mg Mg2+/L failed to saturate exchange sites, but rather maintained equilibrium with other base cations on soil adsorption sites. Dissolved sulfate resulting from additions of magnesium with magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (MgSO4·7H2O) was also monitored. Although difficulties of analysis occurred, sulfate was not adsorbed appreciably by the soils. [source]

Heathland restoration in The Netherlands: Effects of turf cutting depth on germination of Arnica montana

Leon J.L. van der Berg
Abstract. Germination experiments were conducted in a heathland after turf cutting and in a climate chamber to investigate the effects of turf cutting depth, aluminium toxicity and aluminium detoxification by humic acids and base cations on the germination and establishment of Arnica montana. Turfs were cut at three different depths, creating a gradient from organic to mineral soils. Germination and establishment of A. montana were negatively correlated with turf cutting depth. The removal of organic matter resulted in a major decrease in organic fraction of the soil and its nutrients. It also resulted in a considerable decrease in moisture content and humic acids. Additional liming after turf cutting increased germination and establishment in all plots and at all depths. Germination experiments under controlled conditions in a climate chamber revealed a significantly higher germination at low aluminium/calcium (Al:Ca) ratios. High Al:Ca ratios resulted in poor germination, suggesting Al toxicity. Addition of humic acids increased germination, even at high Al:Ca ratios, suggesting immobilization of Al by humic acids. It is concluded that turf cutting can have a marked effect on the success of heathland restoration. It results in the intended removal of the eutrophic layer but also in the unintentional removal of much of the buffering mechanisms and/or Al immobilizing compounds. Additional buffering and/or less deep turf cutting may be necessary to allow germination and establishment of rare herbaceous species such as A. montana. [source]