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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 29 No. 5, p. 547-550
    Received: Jan 27, 1965
    Accepted: May 10, 1965

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The Significance of the Rate of Organic Matter Decomposition on the Aggregation of Soil1

  1. H. L. Meredith and
  2. H. Kohnke2



Laboratory studies of different types and amounts of organic materials added to a moist soil resulted in maximum release of CO2 after about 48 hours and in maximum stability of soil aggregates after about 2 weeks incubation. The experiments indicated that a fairly rapid and sustained rate of decomposition of organic residues is a necessity in the stabilization of soil aggregates. Corn stover was more effective than corn cobs—when ground to similar fineness. The benzene-alcohol and the alkali soluble extracts from a soil that had been incubated with ground corn stalks greatly increased the aggregate stability when added to an otherwise untreated soil. The benzenealcohol soluble fraction likely reduced the rate of wetting of soil aggregates. As a consequence the dispersion effect of water was less pronounced. Water-soluble extracts had little influence on stabilizing soil aggregates.

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