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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - DIVISION S-8—NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT & SOIL & PLANT ANALYSIS

Mapping Soil pH Buffering Capacity of Selected Fields in the Coastal Plain


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 68 No. 2, p. 662-668
    Received: Feb 11, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): dkissel@uga.edu
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  1. A. R. Weavera,
  2. D. E. Kissel *a,
  3. F. Chena,
  4. L. T. Westa,
  5. W. Adkinsa,
  6. D. Rickmanb and
  7. J. C. Luvallb
  1. a Dep. of Crop and Soil Sci., Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
    b Global Hydrology and Climate Center, NASA, Huntsville, AL 35806


Soil pH buffering capacity, since it varies spatially within crop production fields, may be used to define sampling zones to assess lime requirement, or for modeling changes in soil pH when acid-forming fertilizers or manures are added to a field. Our objective was to develop a procedure to map this soil property. One-hundred-thirty-six soil samples (0- to 15-cm depth) from three Georgia Coastal Plain fields were titrated with calcium hydroxide to characterize differences in pH buffering capacity of the soils. Since the relationship between soil pH and added calcium hydroxide was approximately linear for all samples up to pH 6.5, the slope values of these linear relationships for all soils were regressed on the organic C and clay contents of the 136 soil samples using multiple linear regression. The equation that fit the data best was b = 0.00029 − 0.00003 × percentage clay + 0.00135 × percentage OC−1, r 2 = 0.68, where b is the slope of pH vs. lime added, and OC is organic carbon. This equation was applied within geographic information system (GIS) software to create maps of soil pH buffering capacity for the three fields. When the mapped values of the pH buffering capacity were compared with measured values for a total of 18 locations in the three fields, there was good general agreement. A regression of directly measured pH buffering capacities on mapped pH buffering capacities at the field locations for these samples gave an r 2 of 0.88 with a slope of 1.04 for a group of soils that varied approximately tenfold in their pH buffering capacities.

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