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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

The Mitigating Effect of Residual Fertilizer Copper on the Decomposition of an Organic Soil in Situ1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 43 No. 1, p. 200-203
    Received: Apr 10, 1978
    Accepted: Sept 7, 1978

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  1. S. P. Mathur,
  2. H. A. Hamilton and
  3. M. P. Levesque2



The recently reported inhibitory effect of Cu on the in vitro decomposition of some organic soils was examined under field conditions.

The 2-ha field studied has been cultivated for 45 years Within this field, the extent of humification, and pH vary little among the 114 sites examined. Since Cu was applied for the last 15 years almost exclusively to a distinct area along the short axis of the field, total and extractable Cu contents were found to decrease twofold from this band to the remainder of the field. Evolution of CO2 from 15 sites on this field was found to carry 16 to 52 g of C from each square meter of soil surface in a period of 40 days in summer. Carbon loss from this field did not correlate significantly with soil moisture or ash contents. The rate of CO2 evolution, however, significantly (1% level) negatively correlated with both the total and extractable Cu contents. Acid phosphatase activity also fell sharply as Cu content increased. The possibility of using Cu (<100 kg/ha) for mitigating the subsidence of some organic soils is discussed.

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