Plant and Soil

, Volume 120, Issue 2, pp 283–290 | Cite as

Potassium exchange behaviour in Carribean volcanic ash soils under banana cultivation

  • S. Fontaine
  • B. Delvaux
  • J. E. Dufey
  • A. J. Herbillon


Ca−K exchange isotherms of samples from carribean (Martinique island) volcanic soils differing in the weathering stage and in the nature of cation-exchange material were studied. Allophanic soils high in organic matter (Troporthents, Hydrandepts) exhibit a low selectivity for K-ions. Potassium is adsorbed specifically in the halloysitic soils (Humitropepts). A positive relationship exists between the affinity for K+ and the halloysite content. This relation is most likely due to the close association of 1∶1 hydrated phyllosilicates with 2∶1 smectitic clay minerals. A lower selectivity for K was observed in the kaolinitic soil materials (Dystropepts). Because parent rocks are very low in K, these exchange properties strongly influence their K status, through differences in susceptibility to K leaching losses and K availability to banana plants in intensive cropping systems.

Key words

allophane banana crop fertilization halloysite ion exchange potassium volcanic ash soils 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Fontaine
    • 1
  • B. Delvaux
    • 1
  • J. E. Dufey
    • 1
  • A. J. Herbillon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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