Chemical Properties and Processes

  • Hans-Peter Blume
  • Gerhard W. Brümmer
  • Heiner Fleige
  • Rainer Horn
  • Ellen Kandeler
  • Ingrid Kögel-Knabner
  • Ruben Kretzschmar
  • Karl Stahr
  • Berndt-Michael Wilke


Many regulating functions of soils (Sect.  1.2) are based on biogeochemical processes, and are therefore affected by soil chemical properties. Examples are the storage and supply of nutrients, the sorption and degradation of contaminants, as well as the buffering of acid deposition. The chemical processes taking place at biogeochemical interfaces are of outstanding importance. About 40–60 % of the soil volume consists of pores, which can be filled with water (soil solution) or gases (soil air), depending on the actual soil moisture. The soil solids mainly consist of minerals and smaller fractions of organic matter. This porous system of mineral and organic soil particles, gases, aqueous solutions and organisms leads to the formation of very large and chemically reactive interfaces. These interfaces can adsorb, complex, precipitate or chemically transform various ions and molecules. This chapter provides an introduction to the chemical properties and processes regulating the behavior of nutrients and contaminants in soils.


Humic Substance Clay Mineral Soil Solution Dissolve Organic Matter Layer Silicate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Peter Blume
    • 1
  • Gerhard W. Brümmer
    • 6
  • Heiner Fleige
    • 1
  • Rainer Horn
    • 1
  • Ellen Kandeler
    • 2
  • Ingrid Kögel-Knabner
    • 3
  • Ruben Kretzschmar
    • 4
  • Karl Stahr
    • 2
  • Berndt-Michael Wilke
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Plant Nutrition and Soil SciencesChristian-Albrechts-University zu KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Soil Science and Land EvaluationHohenheim UniversityStuttgartGermany
  3. 3.Chair of Soil ScienceTechnische Universität MünchenFreising-WeihenstephanGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant DynamicsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  5. 5.Institute of EcologyTechnical University BerlinBerlinGermany
  6. 6.Institute of Crop Science and Resource ConservationUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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