Testing a mechanistic model. V. The points of zero salt effect for phosphate retention, for zinc retention and for acid/alkali titration of a soil

N. J. BARROW, A. S. ELLIS

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Abstract

The pH of samples of a soil was altered by adding acid or lime and incubating the moistened soil at 60°C. The effect of varying the concentration of salt on pH, retention of phosphate, and retention of zinc was then measured. At low pH, increasing the concentration of salt decreased phosphate retention; at high pH, it increased it. The pH at which the effects crossed over (that is, the point of zero salt effect on phosphate retention) was higher than the point of zero salt effect on pH. This is opposite to effects observed with uniform surfaces. These results were described by a model in which it was assumed that individual sites varied in their electrostatic potential and that phosphate was retained preferentially by sites with the highest potential. Zinc retention was decreased by high concentrations of salt. This was partly because of effects of salt in decreasing the pH of solutions in contact with soil. There was no indication of a crossing‐over of effects at low pH. This suggested that the electrostatic potential of zinc‐retaining sites did not vary much with pH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-310
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Soil Science
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1986

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