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Role of Organic Matter on Boron Adsorption-Desorption Hysteresis of Soils

Goldberg, Sabine PhD; Suarez, Donald L. PhD

doi: 10.1097/SS.0b013e318256bc0c
Technical Article

In this study, we evaluated the boron (B) adsorption-desorption reaction of six soils and examined the extent to which organic matter content, as well as incubation time, affected B release. Six soils varying in initial pH, clay content, and organic matter content were selected for the study. Adsorption experiments were carried out to determine B adsorption isotherms using 0.01 M NaCl solutions containing 0 to 100 mg B kg−1. The soils were equilibrated for 23 h. Boron desorption was investigated after replacing aliquots with B-free 0.01 M NaCl solution three times. Three of the soils were also spiked with 0 to 100 mg B kg−1 and equilibrated for up to 23 months at field capacity water content in a temperature-controlled room at 25°C. At various intervals, sub-samples were extracted with DTPA-sorbitol, boiling water, and 0.1 M NaCl. The B adsorption-desorption behavior of all six soils was found to be nonhysteretic in the short-term experiment, regardless of organic matter content. Apparent hysteresis of B adsorption can result from difficulties in the experimental procedure itself. Some B adsorption hysteresis was found for two soils with all three extractants after long-term equilibrations of 1 to 23 months. Our results do not support the hypothesis that B desorption hysteresis increases in soils with increasing organic matter content.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Salinity Laboratory, Riverside, California.

Address for correspondence: Sabine Goldberg, PhD, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Salinity Laboratory, 450 W. Big Springs Road, Riverside, CA 92507, USA. E-mail:

Financial Disclosures/Conflicts of Interest: None Reported.

Received September 28, 2011.

Accepted for publication March 21, 2012.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.