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Type: Journal article
Title: Effects of live wetland plant macrophytes on acidification, redox potential and sulphate content in acid sulphate soils
Author: Michael, P.
Fitzpatrick, R.
Reid, R.
Citation: Soil Use and Management, 2017; 33(3):471-481
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 0266-0032
Statement of
P.S. Michael, R.W. Fitzpatrick, R.J. Reid
Abstract: Unless properly managed, acid sulphate soils can exert a range of negative environmental impacts, including soil acidification and mobilization of metals and metalloids. Incorporation of organic matter in the form of plant mulches can substantially neutralize sulphuric soils and prevent the oxidation of sulphidic soils. These positive effects of dead plants are largely mediated by bacterial reduction of sulphates to sulphides, using the organic matter as a microbial nutrient source. However, very little is known about the effects of live plants on acid sulphate soils. In this study, we compared pH, Eh and sulphate content of sulphidic and sulphuric soils that were not planted (i.e. unplanted) with those soils planted with the following three common wetland plants: Phragmites, Melaleuca and Typha. Each of these plants is capable of growth in aerobic and flooded soils. In all our experiments, the presence of plants correlated with an increase in soil acidification rather than neutralizing soil acidity when compared to unplanted controls. The mechanism for this appears to be transport of oxygen down the soil profile by aerenchymatous tissue formed in these species, and the release of oxygen into the rhizosphere.
Keywords: Live organic matter; acid sulphate soils; pH; redox potential; sulphate content
Rights: © 2017 British Society of Soil Science
RMID: 0030073308
DOI: 10.1111/sum.12362
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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