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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Effects of Calcium Carbonate on the Availability of Nutrients in an Acid Soil1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 38 No. 2, p. 341-346
    Received: June 15, 1973
    Accepted: Dec 13, 1973

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  1. K. R. Helyar and
  2. A. J. Anderson2



The four pasture species alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.), Harding grass (Phalaris tuberosa L.), and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) were grown in pots on an acid sandy loam soil treated with CaCO3 and H2SO4 to give a pH (0.01M CaCl2) range from 4.0 to 5.0.

Calcium carbonate application increased exchangeable calcium and decreased exchangeable aluminum and manganese but had little effect on the exchangeable levels of other cations. All soil solution cations except calcium decreased in concentration with CaCO3 application. These trends are explained in terms of effects of CaCO3 on the exchange equilibria through effects on the exchangeable levels of calcium and aluminum and on the cation exchange capacity. Soil solution sulfate levels were increased by liming while phosphate and nitrate levels were decreased.

Effects of H2SO4 and CaCO3 on plant growth were explained as effects of aluminum toxicity at low pH and phosphorus deficiency at higher pH values. Nutrient concentrations in the plants generally followed the trends in the soil solutions. Some inconsistencies were interpreted as effects of aluminum toxicity.

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