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Assessment of potassium speciation in soil using traditional single leaching and modified sequential extraction processes

Poonpakdee, Chakkrit, Tzeng, Jing-Hua, Weng, Chih-Huang, Lin, Yao-Tung
Journal of soils and sediments 2018 v.18 no.2 pp. 610-623
air, alkaline soils, ambient temperature, bioavailability, fertilizer application, forest soils, hydroxides, iron, leaching, manganese, potassium, potassium fertilizers, soil sampling
PURPOSE: The bioavailability of potassium (K) depends on its speciation distribution in the soil. Different methods are commonly used to estimate K speciation including traditional single leaching (TSL) and sequential extraction process (SEP). However, K speciation is largely affected by soil pretreatment methods. The effects of both TSL and SEP soil pretreatment methods were evaluated. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The TSL method classifies K speciation content based on bioavailability, while the SEP classifies the metal speciation based on the effects of environmental conditions. These two methods, together with a modified sequential single leaching (SSL) scheme, were used to evaluate five types of soil including soil without potassium fertilization, soil with long-term K fertilization, alkaline soil, red soil, and forest soil. The soil samples were gathered randomly at depths varying up to 30 cm before being dried in air at room temperature. The samples were then ground and mixed before passing through a sieve (10 mesh or 100 mesh) in order to perform K speciation analysis via the modified SSL technique, the TSL method, and the four schemes of SEP. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Soil pretreatment influenced K speciation, with higher concentration in soil samples sieved through 100 mesh than through 10 mesh. In alkaline soil, potassium was observed to be associated with carbonate. For the various SEP schemes, K speciation was found to be greatest in the residual fraction, with only 3% observed in the carbonate, exchangeable, metal organic complex, or amorphous hydroxides of Fe or Mn. After following the first two steps of the SEP schemes, the available K was similar to that of the TSL method. Distribution of non-exchangeable K using the TSL method was comparable with the five combined SEP extraction steps which were all affected by environmental conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Pretreatment affected K speciation distribution and total amount of metal in the soil. The 100 mesh sieve was more effective in estimating K soil speciation. The SEP method was acceptable for estimating K speciation, with the Krishnamurti et al. (Analyst 120:659–665, 1995) scheme as a useful appraisal of K bioavailability. Combination analyses using both TSL and SEP methods are useful techniques to enable a better understanding of K speciation transformation in soil.