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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service



Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Special Publication Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 9, 2006
Publication Date: April 3, 2006
Citation: Delgado, J.A. 2006. Chemical processes in soils. Soil Science Society of America Special Publication Book Chapter. 70:709-710.

Interpretive Summary: “Chemical Processes in Soils” edited by Tabatabai and D.L. Sparks (2005) describes soil chemistry processes of soil organic matter, macro and micro nutrients and metals, which are key in understanding soil systems needed to feed world population. Soil organic matter is a vital component of soil systems, and the processes of soil organic matter genesis of humic and non humic components and fractionation are discussed in detail in this publication. Sources of macro and micro nutrients, mechanisms for adsorption and release and dynamics and how they affect soil availability levels are also covered. The general properties, precipitation, adsorption, transport mechanism for micronutrients and relationships to biological processes are discussed. The phosphorus chapter accurately reports that our knowledge of the basic principles of soil phosphorus chemistry has contributed to the development of best management practices that can sustain agricultural production while protecting water quality, a clear example to soil scientists, environmentalists and conservationists of how soil chemical processes are tied to environmental sustainability. This book presents an excellent review of the kinetics and mechanism of soil biogeochemical processes, including insight into models, reaction mechanisms, cycling and other important factors needed to understand the dynamics which affect availability, fate and transport of nutrients in soils. Key soil chemistry properties such as cation exchange capacity and soil acidity and how they affect kinetics and availability of nutrients are covered. The chemistry of the redox and oxidation processes and how they affect chemical availability is also included. Chemical process and models describing adsorption and desorption are discussed. Origins and sources of metals, reactivity with humic substances, reactions in soils and chemical specification of trace metals in soils are also covered. The chemistry of salt-affected soil, its origin, chemical equilibrium and speciation methods is presented.

Technical Abstract: “Chemical Processes in Soils” edited by Tabatabai and D.L. Sparks (2005) is a key review useful for soil scientists, agronomists, conservationists, environmental scientists and other related professionals who need to understand these processes of chemical reactions and how they may be related to their respective fields. The published literature in this field of chemical processes in soils is comprised of thousands of papers. The editors acknowledge that it is practically impossible to cite all published literature. These fifteen chapters, however, do a good job of reviewing this vast literature, including results from state of the art advances achieved during the last two decades. This book presents a good synthesis and review of chemical processes in soils and will aid students and professionals in agriculture, environment, earth sciences, soil sciences and soil and water conservation and other related fields in understanding this field of soil chemistry. Taken together these fifteen chapters offer an extensive detailed insight into understanding the fate, interaction, processes, and reactions that drive and affect chemical availability. The book covers recent advances and new techniques used in these fields that have been introduced during the last two decades. The fields of agriculture, ecology, environment, earth and water sciences, and soil sciences including soil and water conservation and other related areas will benefit from this reference. Professionals in these fields will benefit in gaining key understanding on how chemical processes affect the availability and fate of elements in soil systems.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014