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Ion Diffusion in Soils As Related to Physical and Chemical Properties

E.O. Skogley and B.E. Schaff. 1985. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., Vol. 49:847-850.
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     Ion diffusion to plant roots is known to be a major factor influencing availability of certain nutrients in the soil. Diffusion of K+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ from soil so a H-saturated ion exchange resin sink was measured for 20 agricultural surface soils (18 from Montana and two from Iowa) to investigate the relationship between diffusion and selected chemical and physical soil properties The soils were moistened to a tension of 0.1 mPa and packed into cylinders to a bulk density of 1.25 Mg m -3. Cylinders were placed in temperature- controlled chambers at 5 or 30oC and ion diffusion into an ion-exchange resin sink was measured after 96 hours. Diffusion of K+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ was significantly different between soils and at the two temperatures, and there was a significant soil times temperature interaction. Regression of 41 independent soil physical and chemical characteristics against amount of K+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ in the resin revealed several soil chemical and physical properties that were significantly related to ion diffusion. Values for NH4OAC extractable ions were not as highly correlated to diffusion of these ions as were several other factors.

Additional Index Words: ion exchange resin, soil temperature, K, Ca, Mg.

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