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Acidification and Changes of Mineral Nutrient Availability in Soils Amended with Elemental Sulfur
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Acidification and Changes of Mineral Nutrient Availability in Soils Amended with Elemental Sulfur
Kim, Byoung-Ho; Chung, Jong-Bae;
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With the increasing cultivation of acid-loving plants such as blueberries, the artificial acidification of soils is frequently required. This research was conducted to determine the application rates of elemental sulfur (S) required in the soil acidification for blueberry cultivation. Laboratory incubation experiment was conducted to acidify three arable soils (pH 6-7) of different texture to pH 4.5-5.0 by the addition of varying amounts of elemental S. All rates of elemental S addition reduced soil pH, although the efficacy of acidification was related to the application rate and soil characteristics. pH reduction was slow in sandy loam soil, and the final equilibrium pH was obtained after 60, 43, and 30 days of incubation in sandy loam, loam, and silty clay, respectively. Although the final pHs obtained after 93 days of incubation were not significantly different among the three soils, the equilibrium pH was relatively higher in soil of higher clay content in the application rates of 1.5-2.0 g S soil. The estimated amounts of elemental S required in lowering pH to 4.5-5.0 were 0.59-1.01, 0.67-1.03, and 0.53-0.88 g S for sandy loam, loam, and silty clay, respectively. The lowest estimated amount of elemental S in the acidification of silty clay soil was attributable to the low organic matter content. For clay soils containing optimum level of organic matter, the application rates of elemental S should be much higher than those values estimated in this research. Soil acidification did not significantly increase the available concentrations of Ca, Mg and K. Extractable Cu and Zn was not greatly affected by the acidification, but extractable Fe, Mn, and Al in the acidified soils were higher than those found in non-acidified soils. Such increases in solubility are attributable to the dissolution of oxides and hydroxides of the elements.
Soil acidification;Elemental sulfur;Blueberry;Nutrient availability;
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