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Research Project: Enhancing Production and Ecosystem Services of Horticultural and Agricultural Systems in the Southeastern United States

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Depth distribution of exchangeable aluminum in acid soils: A study from subtropical Brazil

Author
item Rabel, Diego - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item Motta, Antonio - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item Barbosa, Julierme - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item Melo, Vander - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item Prior, Stephen - Steve

Submitted to: Acta Scientiarum Agronomy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/27/2017
Publication Date: 5/15/2018
Citation: Rabel, D.O., Motta, A.C., Barbosa, J.Z., Melo, V.F., Prior, S.A. 2018. Depth distribution of exchangeable aluminum in acid soils: A study from subtropical Brazil. Acta Scientiarum Agronomy. 40:e39320. https://doi:10.4025/actasciagron.v40i1.39320.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4025/actasciagron.v40i1.39320

Interpretive Summary: Aluminum is the third most common element in the earth's crust, and its toxic forms, due to soil acidity, can prevent agricultural crops from reaching maximum productivity. High exchangeable aluminum (Al3+) requires greater attention when preparing agricultural soils. However, research examining the relationship between natural levels of soil Al3+ and pedogenetic processes receives little priority, particularly regarding the number of soil profiles investigated. To represent a wider area and broader spectrum of varying chemical attributes, this study analyzed 38 acid soils selected from South Soil Surveys in Brazil to identify and isolate effects of organic and mineral components on exchangeable Al3+distribution along soil profiles. These soil profiles were divided into three groups based on Al3+ depth distribution: Group I - reduction; Group II - insignificant variation; and Group III - increase. The higher Al3+ found near the surface of more weathered soils was influenced by organic matter content (Group I; predominance of Oxisols), and mineral quality in the clay fraction defined the occurrence of Al3+ in subsurface horizons of Groups I and III. The distribution of Al3+ by depth was defined by the pedogenetic development stage of soil. This new information can be used by farmers in developing good management practices to combat soil acidity and increase crop production.

Technical Abstract: High exchangeable aluminum (Al3+) requires greater attention when preparing agricultural soils. However, research examining the relationship between natural levels of soil Al3+ and pedogenetic processes receives little priority, particularly regarding the number of soil profiles investigated. To represent a wider area and broader spectrum of varying chemical attributes, this study analyzed 38 acid soils selected from South Soil Surveys in Brazil to identify and isolate effects of organic and mineral components on exchangeable Al3+distribution along soil profiles. These soil profiles were divided into three groups based on Al3+ depth distribution: Group I - reduction; Group II - insignificant variation; and Group III - increase. The higher Al3+ found near the surface of more weathered soils was influenced by organic matter content (Group I; predominance of Oxisols), and mineral quality in the clay fraction defined the occurrence of Al3+ in subsurface horizons of Groups I and III. The distribution of Al3+ by depth was defined by the pedogenetic development stage of soil.