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Clay-organic complexes in a Polish loess soil

Czyż, Ewa A., Rejman, Jerzy, Dexter, Anthony R., Jadczyszyn, Jan, Rafalska-Przysucha, Anna, Stanek-Tarkowska, Jadwiga
International agrophysics 2017 v.31 no.3 pp. 447-452
algorithms, carbon, carbon sequestration, clay, loess, loess soils, soil organic matter, soil sampling, strip tillage, watersheds, Poland
Complexes formed between clay and soil organic matter are important for carbon sequestration and for soil physical quality. Here, we use samples of loessial soil from South-East Poland to explore the phenomenon of complexing in loess. Soil samples were collected from a single catchment 8 years after the introduction of strip tillage and their compositions were characterized by traditional methods. Complexing was characterized in terms of the content of non-complexed clay which was estimated in two ways: firstly, by measurement of the content of readily-dispersible clay (which was assumed to be the non-complexed clay); and secondly, by calculation using algorithms that had been developed and evaluated previously. The calculations were based on the concept that, at carbon saturation, the clay/organic carbon mass ratio is equal to n. The calculations were done with a range of values of n. It was assumed that the correct value of n was that which gave the greatest coefficient of correlation between the measured values of clay dispersion and the predicted values of non-complexed clay. For the loess used, the optimum value was n = 14.