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Potassium fixation of some calcareous soils after short term extraction with different solutions

Najafi-Ghiri, Mahdi, Rezabigi, Soodabeh, Hosseini, Sara, Boostani, Hamid Reza, Owliaie, Hamid Reza
Archiv für Acker- und Pflanzenbau und Bodenkunde 2019 v.65 no.7 pp. 897-910
Mollisols, Vertisols, calcareous soils, calcium, calcium chloride, carbonates, citrates, citric acid, hydrochloric acid, illite, magnesium, palygorskite, potassium, potassium fertilizers, smectite, Iran
This investigation was done to determine the release of potassium (K) from five calcareous soils of southern Iran using 0.025 M CaCl₂, HCl and citric acid during six successive extractions and to study the K fixation capacity of the soils after K release experiment. Mineralogical study indicated that Vertisols and Mollisols were dominated with smectites; while other soils had illite, chlorite, palygorskite and smectite. Results indicated that citric acid extracted more K than CaCl₂ and HCl (137 vs. 111 and 113 mg kg⁻¹, respectively). The analysis of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and K concentrations in the solutions suggests that the exchange of K with soluble Ca and Mg (originated from dissolution of carbonates by acidic solutions) is the main mechanism of K release, but citrate is able to dissolve K-bearing minerals and release K in slightly calcareous soils. Soils with more illite released more K. Potassium fixation capacity of soils increased after extractions of soils with different extractants from 324 to 471 mg kg⁻¹, with no significant difference. It is suggested to apply more K fertilizers in K-depleted calcareous soils and use of different solutions for extracting K from soil minerals may be a temporary and short term solution.