Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 65, Issue 1–2, pp 153–173 | Cite as

Dynamics of aqueous aluminum species in a podzol affected by experimental MgSO4 and (NH4)2SO4 treatments

  • J. Prietzel
  • K. H. Feger
Regular Section


Chemistry of aqueous Al in a podzol on a Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) site in the Black Forest (SW Germany) and changes induced by experimental applications of MgSO4 were studied. Soil solution taken from the O, E and BC horizons were analyzed for the fractions ‘labile monomeric Al’, ‘non-labile monomeric Al’, and ‘acid-reactive Al’. The activities of ‘inorganic monomeric Al’ species and the saturation indices (SI) of the soil solution with respect to Al-bearing minerals were calculated using the equilibrium speciation model WATEQF. On the untreated plot, soil leachates are characterized by Altot concentrations of 0.1 mg L−1 (mineral soil). In the O horizon, the fractions ‘acidsoluble Al’ and ‘non-labile monomeric Al’ (mainly organically complexed Al) together comprise 80% of Altot. In the leachates from the mineral soil Al3+ prevails, being 50% of Altot. Al-F-complexes make up 5 to 10% in all horizons. MgSO4 and (NH4)2SO4 treatments resulted in an intense Al mobilization up to 50 mg L−1. In this situation, 60% of Altot is covered by Al3+ and 40% by non-phytotoxic Al-SO4-complexes. After rainfall events, mobilized Al is quickly translocated into the subsoil, with water flow through macropores then appearing to be an important mechanism. In both treatments, soil solution chemistry was favorable for the precipitation of the Al(OH)SO4-type minerals alunite and jurbanite. However, a control of Al solubility by this process is not likely due to kinetic restraints. Application of MgSO4 was followed by an increase of the Mg/Al molar ratio in the soil solution, whereas the Ca/Al ratio decreased. After treatment with (NH4)2SO4 both the Ca/Al and the Mg/Al ratios deteriorated.


MgSO4 Soil Solution Mineral Soil Saturation Index Alunite 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Prietzel
    • 1
  • K. H. Feger
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Soil Science and Forest NutritionAlbert-Ludwig-UniversityFreiburg i. Br.Germany

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