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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Department Soil Ecology - Prof. Dr. Eva Lehndorff

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Matschonat, G; Vogt, R: Assessment of a laboratory method to obtain the equilibrium solution composition of forest soils, European Journal of Soil Science, 48, 545-552 (1997)
Equilibrium studies on soil require reliable estimates of ion concentrations in the soil solution under field conditions. We evaluated the previously described iterative method to approximate the equilibrium soil solution (ESS) with four acid forest soils. We examined for which ions the ESS is suitable, making use of the fact that concentrations in water extracts are functions of the soi1:solution ratio. The electric conductivity, pH, and the concentrations of base cations, Mn2+, NO-3, S042+, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were usually linear with the soi1:solution ratio in water extracts, whereas no relation was observed for A1 (with one exception) and Fe. Assuming that the ESS can be attributed the soi1:solution ratio of the field moist soil at the time of sampling, concentrations appeared as the continuation of the linear relation with the soi1:solution ratio for base cations, pH, and the electric conductivity. This indicates that the ESS actually represents field conditions for these solution properties. For A1 water extracts allowed no evaluation of the ESS result. The ESS underestimated SO4" concentrations under field conditions, presumably because the lack of DOC in the solutions added distorts the balance amongst anions.
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