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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 44 No. 2, p. 407-413
     
    Received: July 13, 1979
    Published: Mar, 1980


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doi:10.2136/sssaj1980.03615995004400020040x

Cation Exchange Capacity of Acid Forest Humus Layers1

  1. P. J. Kalisz and
  2. E. L. Stone2

Abstract

Abstract

Cation exchange capacities (CEC's) of acid forest humus layers and mineral soils were measured at the pH of air-dried samples (CEC [field pH]) using a neutral salt procedure. The values obtained were ¼ to ½ those measured by NH4OAc at pH 7 (CEC [pH 7]). Organic matter was the chief source of exchange capacity at all localities studied. CEC (field pH) of mors from the Adirondack Mt. area (pH ≤4.1) and mulls from central New York (pH 4.9–5.4) averaged 52 and 123 meq/100 g OM (organic matter), respectively, as compared with 183 and 236 meq/100 g when determined at pH 7. Base saturation calculated from the lower CEC measured at field pH may range from 15 to 30% for H layers below pH 4, and from 81 to 94% for mull layers at pH 5.4. At one location where the pH of a mor layer varied naturally from 3.2 to 5.6, CEC (field pH) was linearly correlated with pH; CEC increased about 30 meq/100 g OM per pH unit. CEC (field pH) was unrelated to total N over the range 1.6–2.6% N, ash-free. Estimates of total forest floor CEC (field pH) for seven Adirondack and New England localities with mor layers ranged from 10 to 165 keq/ha.

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