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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Response of Soybeans to Simulated Acid Rain in the Field1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 12 No. 4, p. 538-543
    Received: Dec 13, 1982

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  1. Allen S. Heagle,
  2. Robert B. Philbeck,
  3. Patricia F. Brewer and
  4. Ronald E. Ferrell2



Soybeans [Glycine max (L.) Merr, ‘Davis’] were grown in the field during 1979 and 1980 to determine whether the acidity of simulated rainfall would affect plant injury, growth, or yield, soil chemistry, soil nematode populations, and Rhizobium nodulation of roots. Plants were exposed twice weekly to 0.74 cm (1979) or 0.85 cm (1980) of simulated rain at pH levels of 5.5, 4.0, 3.2, or 2.8 in 1979 and 5.4, 4.1, 3.2, or 2.4 in 1980. There were six 3-m2 plots (replicates) for each pH level. Simulated rain at pH 2.8 or 2.4 caused small amounts of foliar injury evident as biracial white or tan lesions primarily on young leaves. However, plant growth, pod yield, foliar elemental content, seed protein content, seed oil content, Rhizobium nodulation of roots, and populations of parasitic nematodes were not affected. Soil analyses were performed before, midway through, and after each season. Trends toward lower soil pH, and less Ca, Mg, and K occurred with increased acidity of simulated rain. These effects were statistically significant only for soil pH, Mg, and K at treatment pH 2.4. Possible effects of ambient rain at current pH levels on agricultural soils are likely to require long-term deposition.

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