Acidification rates in the central wheatbelt of Western Australia. 2. On a sandy duplex soil
PJ Dolling, WM Porter and IC Rowland
Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture
34(8) 1165 - 1172
The rate and mechanisms of acidification were determined on a sandy duplex soil (depth of sand 30-45 cm) under a cereal-annual pasture rotation in Western Australia. We also evaluated the effect of rotation (intensity of cropping) on relative acidification of a sandy duplex soil. Rate of acidification was based on a linear regression analysis between soil pH and years since clearing. Sites were sampled to a depth of 50 cm in 10-cm increments and measurements included soil pH, pH buffering capacity, and bulk density. The effect of different rotations on the acidification rate was determined by soil sampling a rotation experiment which had been established for 25 years. Sampling and measurements were similar to the regression analysis. From regression, the rate of acidification for the profile was 0.15 kmol H+/ha.year, requiring 7.7 kg CaCO3 to neutralise. Most of the acidification could be accounted for by removal of alkaline products. Acidification was occurring to a depth of 30 cm, the acidification rate decreasing with depth. In the surface 20 cm the pH decline was 0.005-0.006 units/year. In the rotation experiment, the rate of acidification relative to continuous wheat without fertiliser nitrogen (N) ranged from 0.35 kmol H+/ha .year (17.5 kg CaCO3) for continuous wheat with fertiliser N to 0.92 kmol H+/ha. year (45.8 kg CaCO3) for continuous pasture. Between these rates was 1 year pasture-1 year cereal (0.41 kmol H+/ha. year, 20.5 kg CaCO3) and 2 years pasture-1 year cereal (0.82 kmol H+/ha . year, 41.2 kg CaCO3). Acidification was occurring to 60 cm depth in all rotations, mostly due to nitrate leaching, removal of alkaline products, and build-up of organic matter.
Full text doi:10.1071/EA9941165
© CSIRO 1994