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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 3, p. 399-402
    Received: Oct 11, 1965
    Accepted: Mar 15, 1966

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Cation-Exchange Characteristics of Forest Floor Materials1

  1. C. G. Wells and
  2. C. B. Davey2



The CEC of forest floor materials from pine, hardwood, and mixed stands was highly dependent upon the saturating cation used in the determination and somewhat less dependent upon the replacing cation. Barium saturation and Ca replacement seemed to be the best cations for CEC determination. Base titration of electrodialyzed samples indicated a 4-min period of rapid H release followed by a decreasing rate of release. Cation-exchange capacity of the different materials increased proportionally with pH of the saturating solution, even though the materials differed in source and composition. Buffering properties of the forest floor organic materials were strongest primarily at slightly acid to alkaline reactions. Regardless of the tree species and state of decomposition, correlation of CEC with N content of the material was highly significant. The forest floor may have a higher total CEC than several inches of underlying mineral soil.

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