The effects of lime, fertilizer and manure applications on soil organic matter status and soil physical properties are of importance to agricultural sustainability. Their effects are complex and many interactions can occur. In the short-term, liming can result in dispersion of clay colloids and formation of surface crusts. As pH is increased the surface negative charge on clay colloids increases and repulsive forces between particles dominate. However, at higher lime rates, Ca2+ concentrations and ionic strength in soil solution increase causing compression of the electrical double layer and renewed flocculation. When present in sufficient quantities, both lime and hydroxy-Al polymers formed by precipitation of exchangeable Al, can act as cementing agents bonding soil particles together and improving soil structure. Liming often causes a temporary flush of soil microbial activity but the effect of this on soil aggregation is unclear. It is suggested that, in the long-term, liming will increase crop yields, organic matter returns, soil organic matter content and thus soil aggregation. There is a need to study these relationships on existing long-term liming trials.
Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 21, 2004
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