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Soil pH, Soil Health and Climate Change

  • Zdenko RengelEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 29)

Abstract

Variable and changing climate will influence soil properties, including pH as a master variable that affects all other properties of an ecosystem. There is little knowledge about specific effects of altered temperature and rainfall patterns on soil properties; it points to highly variable responses in dependence on initial soil and ecosystem properties. Increased biomass production in managed ecosystem due to increased temperature and/or increased rainfall is likely to result in increased acidification of soil due to removal of alkalinity in the harvested produce. Increased leaching of basic cations due to increased rainfall will transfer alkalinity from the soil exchange complex into surface waters and groundwater, leaving acidified soils. Altered water regime in soils containing oxidizable sulphide materials may cause huge soil acidification (acid sulphate soils) if such soil layers are exposed to air. Improved understanding of the effects of changing and variable climate on soil pH and other soil properties is urgently needed to inform management decision to prevent loss of environmental function in soils and terrestrial ecosystems.

Keywords

Soil Solution Soil Respiration Soil Acidification Basic Cation Environmental Risk Assessment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, M087, School of Earth and EnvironmentThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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