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Soil pH.docx

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Simon Fraser University
GEOG 317
Margaret Schmidt

SOIL PH Soil ph controls the environment of microorganisms and plants ph is a measure of the concentration of H+ and OH- ions in soil solution Under 6, More than 50% of H+ is acidic- , alkaline is OH-, over 8. Netural has equal of both at 7. BC Forest soil at a 4 1 unit change in ph means 10 times change in H+ or OH-, if less than 7 then increase in H, if more than 7 then change increase in OH Role of Aluminum in soil acidity: At ph of less than 5, Al ions become soluble. Aluminum ions are released into soil during mineral weathering: Active acidity- due to H+ and Al3+ ions in soil solution Exchangeable acidity- exchangeable h and Al ions on exchange sites Residual Acidity- associated with H and Al ions that are bound (non exchangeable) on soil particles (clays+humus) Changes in soil ph: Acid forming factors – organic matter decomp- organic and inorganic acids are formed - carbonic acid due to normal rain - sulfuric and nitric acids formed in atmosphere
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