Changes in pore networks and readily dispersible soil following structure liming of clay soils

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Structure liming aims to improve soil structure (i.e., the spatial arrangement of particles and pores) and its stability against external and internal forces. Effects of lime application on soil structure have received considerable interest, but only a few studies have investigated effects on macro- and mesopore networks. We used X-ray computed tomography to image macropore networks (ø ≥ 0.3 mm) in soil columns and mesopores (ø ≥ 0.01 mm) in soil aggregates from three field sites with (silty) clay soils after the application of structure lime (3.1 t ha−1 or 5 t ha−1 of CaO equivalent). Segmented X-ray images were used to quantify soil porosity and pore size distributions as well as to analyse pore architecture and connectivity metrics. In addition, we investigated the amount of readily dispersible soil particles. Our results demonstrate that structure liming affected both, macropore networks and amounts of readily dispersible soil to different degrees, depending on the field site. Significant changes in macropore networks and amounts of readily dispersible soil after lime application were found for one of the three field sites, while only some indications for similar changes were observed at the other two sites. Overall, structure liming tended to decrease soil macroporosity and shift pore size distribution from larger (ε>1.0 mm) and medium sized macropores (ε0.3–1.0 mm) towards smaller macropores (ε0.1–0.3 mm). Furthermore, liming tended to decrease the critical and average pore diameters, while increasing the surface fractal dimension and specific surface area of macropore network. Structure liming also reduced the amounts of readily dispersible soil particles. We did not find any changes in mesopore network properties within soil aggregates or biopore networks in columns and aggregates. The effects of lime on macropore networks remain elusive, but may be caused by the formation of hydrate phases and carbonates which occupy pore space.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Agroscope
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Soil Science

Keywords

  • Dispersible clay, Pore space, Soil structure, Structure liming, X-ray computed tomography
Original languageEnglish
Article number114948
JournalGeoderma
Volume390
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes