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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 28 No. 4, p. 533-535
    Received: Nov 14, 1963
    Accepted: Dec 17, 1963

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Gamma Radiation Compared with Steam and Methyl Bromide as a Soil Sterilizing Agent1

  1. Charles F. Eno and
  2. Hugh Popenoe2



Red Bay loamy fine sand and Everglades muck were sterilized with gamma radiation, steam, and methyl bromide. Exchangeable NH4+; extractable N, P, and S; moisture equivalent; cation-exchange capacity; and organic matter were measured. None of the sterilization treatments significantly altered cation-exchange capacity. Steam significantly increased the amounts of N, P, and S extracted and the organic matter content values, compared to the check and the other two soil treatments; it also significantly decreased the moisture equivalent percentage. Gamma ray and methyl bromide sterilization generally increased the release of N, P, and S above the check. There was also a strong indication, based on the N data, that sterilization by gamma rays disrupted the soil organic materials more than methyl bromide. Finally, the intensity of all these factors is most closely associated with the organic matter content of the soil. Therefore, a sand, for example, would not be altered nearly as much as a loam or an organic soil.

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