Efficiency of gypsum application to acid Andosols estimated using aluminum release rates and plant root growth

Tadashi Takahashi, Yuya Ikeda, Hitomi Nakamura, Masami Nanzyo

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18 Citations (Scopus)


A great deal of information on the efficiency of gypsum or phosphogypsum to ameliorate acidity in highly weathered soils is available, but only limited information is available on the efficiency in acid Andosols, which possess large amounts of active aluminum (Al). We examined the effectiveness of gypsum application to non-allophanic Andosols (one humus-rich A horizon and two B horizons poor in humus) using extractable soil Al analyses (batch and continuous extraction methods) and a cultivation test using burdock (Arctium lappa). With gypsum amendment, pH(H2O) values of the soil decreased from 4.5-4.7 to 4.2-4.4, whereas the treatment made almost no difference to the values of pH(KCl). Total active Al (acid oxalate-extractable Al) was hardly affected by gypsum for all samples. Potassium chloride-extractable Al definitely decreased with the addition of gypsum in all soils; however, the decrease was small (0.1-1.4 cmolc kg-1) and the values still exceeded "the threshold of 2 cmolc kg-1" for inducing Al toxicity in sensitive plants (4.4-8.6 cmolc Al kg-1). The change in Al solubility with gypsum application represented by Al release rates from soils using continuous extraction methods with a dilute acetate buffer solution (10-3 mol L-1, pH 3.5) differed greatly among the soil samples: The release rate of one of the B horizon samples decreased by 71%, certainly showing the insolubilization of Al compounds, whereas the release rates of the A horizon sample showed almost no change. These changes in Al solubility were well correlated with the plant root growth. Root growth was improved with gypsum in the B horizon sample, whereas improvement was not observed in the A horizon soil. The decrease in the rate of Al release of another B horizon soil with gypsum treatment was smaller (by 20-34%), possibly because of lower pH values after gypsum application (pH[H2O] of 4.2-4.3). In the B horizon soil, root growth improved only slightly. Thus, the effectiveness of gypsum application to acid Andosols appeared to be largely influenced by soil humus contents and slight differences in soil pH values, and corresponded to a decrease in Al release rates using the continuous extraction method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-592
Number of pages9
JournalSoil Science and Plant Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Oct


  • Aluminum release rates from soils
  • Aluminum toxicity
  • Andosols
  • Exchangeable aluminum
  • Gypsum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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