Fluoride-induced changes of chemical properties and microbial activities in humus soils were investigated in 12-week lysimeter experiments. The mull soil showed the highest F-adsorption capacity, in which 94% of the fluoride added was retained after addition of 4.5 mg F/cm2 as NaF. The moder and mor soils only adsorbed 52% and 41%, respectively. F-additions induced leaching of organic matter, Fe, Al and P and increases in soil pH in the moder and mor. In contrast no Al, Fe and P was leached from the mull and only minor amounts of organic matter dissolved after a single application of 4.5 mg F/cm2. Treatments with NaF up to 3700 mg F/kg did not significantly reduce respiration in any of the humus forms. Dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase and arylsulfatase activities as well as nitrification were inhibited at much lower F-additions in the moder and mor soils. A significant decrease in ammonification was observed in the moder. In contrast, microbial processes in the mull soil were not inhibited. This is due to its high adsorption capacity and the relatively low toxicity of F-ions. According to computations using GEOCHEM, the F-ion was the most abundant species in mull lysimeter leachates. Leachates of moder and mor soils contained mainly AIF-complexes (90%–99%). The lack of any effects from NaF treatment on soil respiration is attributed to the observed positive effects, e.g. dissolution of organic matter, desorption of P and increases in soil pH.
Fluoride F-effects on soils Mull Moder Mor Dehydrogenase activity (DHA) Alkaline phosphatase Arylsulphatase