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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 49 No. 4, p. 873-881
    Received: Feb 29, 1984
    Accepted: Jan 15, 1985

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The Occurrence of Extractable Elements in Soils from the Northern Great Plains1

  1. James M. McNeal,
  2. R. C. Severson and
  3. Larry P. Gough2



The modes of occurrence of extractable elements from 21 A and C horizon samples of uncultivated soils were examined using R-mode factor analysis. The extractants (DTPA, EDTA, HCl, hydroquinone, magnesium nitrate, and ammonium oxalate) cover a wide range of chemical attack. Four major elements (Ca, K, Mg, and Na) and eight trace elements (Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) were determined in each extractant solution. A variety of chemical, mineralogical, and physical variables were also determined on each sample. Four varimax factors (clay, organic, Fe and Mn oxides, and soluble-Na) accounted for 74.2% of the total variance of the 90 variables for the A horizon. Seven varimax factors (Fe and Mn oxides, clay, CEC, soluble-Na, organic, Fe and Mn, and plagioclase) accounted for 77.2% of the total variance of the 79 variables for the C horizon. A and C horizon extractable trace elements are most generally related to Fe and Mn oxides, as indicated by loadings on the Fe and Mn oxide factor for both the A and C horizons. Each extractant generally operates on different modes of occurrence of an element in soil. For example, substantial differences occur between the HCl-, oxalate-, and hydroquinone-extractable trace elements. However, the modes of occurrence for trace elements removed by DTPA and EDTA were very similar, suggesting strong relationships between elements dissolved by these two extractants. The modes of occurrence for each individual major element are similar with each of the six extractants. A horizon Ca and Mg, and C horizon K and Mg are strongly related to a clay factor. C horizon Ca and A horizon K are strongly related to the CEC and organic factors, respectively. Both A and C horizon extractable Na are very strongly related to the soluble-Na factor. These results suggest that extractable major elements are water-soluble and are associated with the constituents that are responsible for that factor. Consequently, strong relationships should occur for any individual major element dissolved by any pair of extractants.

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