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Productive agriculture increases the concentration of hydrogen ions in soil, which acidifies the soil.
Aluminium is a component of many soil constituents, including clays and oxides, and is also present on the surfaces of soil organic matter. As the concentration of hydrogen ions in soil increases, soil pH decreases, and aluminium starts to dissolve from the soil constituents, increasing the concentration of aluminium ions in soil solution.
As the concentration of aluminium ions in the solution increases, the aluminium in the soil solution becomes increasingly toxic to plant roots, reducing root growth. The smaller amounts of plant roots explore a smaller volume of soil, decreasing the ability of the roots to take up water and nutrient elements from soil, thereby reducing shoot and grain yields of plants growing in the soil.
Number of Pages
Soil acidity, Nitrogen cycle, Agriculture, Hydrogen, Paddocks, Western Australia
Agriculture | Soil Science
Bolland, M, Gazey, C, Miller, A, Gartner, D, and Roche, J. (2004), Subsurface acidity. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia, Perth. Bulletin 4602.