Research with respect to release rates of Al and Al concentrations in the soil solution has led to two contrasting hypotheses, stressing either the importance of kinetically constrained dissolution reactions or the role of complexation of Al to soil organic matter. The existence of two contrasting hypotheses is partly due to the fact that the interpretation of existing results is hampered by the lack of specificity of the extractants used to quantify the organic and inorganic pools of Al and by the fact that simultaneous measurements on the release of Al and the change in Al pools are missing. This study was conducted to obtain more information on the release rates of Al from various amorphous pools and to evaluate the validity of the above hypotheses. To overcome the above-mentioned shortcomings both release rates of Al and changes in the various,Al pools were measured during the experiment. Experiments were conducted for Ap, Bs and C horizons from a sandy podzol. Results indicated that Al was released from both the inorganic Al pool (oxalate minus pyrophosphate extractable Al) and the strongly bound organic Al pool (pyrophosphate minus CuCl2 extractable Al) according to a first-order reaction. The decline in the weakly bound organic Al pool (CuCl2 extractable minus adsorbed Al) could be described by a rapid dissolution of part of the pool, combined with an equilibrium reaction describing the complexation of Al to organic sites. Rate constants were highest for the non-complexed part of the weakly bound organic Al pool, intermediate for the inorganic Al pool and lowest for the strongly bound organic Al pool. Large differences exist in rate constants of the organic pools between the three horizons. Differences between the rate constants of the inorganic Al pool for the three horizons were not significant.
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