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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Changes in pore networks and readily dispersible soil following structure liming of clay soils

Bolscher, Tobias; Koestel, John; Etana, Ararso; Ulen, Barbro; Berglund, Kerstin; Larsbo, Mats

Abstract

Structure liming aims to improve soil structure (i.e., the spatial arrangement of particles and pores) and its stability against external and internal forces. Effects of lime application on soil structure have received considerable interest, but only a few studies have investigated effects on macro- and mesopore networks. We used X-ray computed tomography to image macropore networks (phi >= 0.3 mm) in soil columns and mesopores (phi > 0.01 mm) in soil aggregates from three field sites with (silty) clay soils after the application of structure lime (3.1 t ha(-1) or 5 t ha(-1)- of CaO equivalent). Segmented X-ray images were used to quantify soil porosity and pore size distributions as well as to analyse pore architecture and connectivity metrics. In addition, we investigated the amount of readily dispersible soil particles. Our results demonstrate that structure liming affected both, macropore networks and amounts of readily dispersible soil to different degrees, depending on the field site. Significant changes in macropore networks and amounts of readily dispersible soil after lime application were found for one of the three field sites, while only some indications for similar changes were observed at the other two sites. Overall, structure liming tended to decrease soil macroporosity and shift pore size distribution from larger (epsilon( >100 mm) ) and medium sized macropores (epsilon( 0.3-1.0) (mm)) towards smaller macropores (epsilon( 0.1-0.3) (mm)). Furthermore, liming tended to decrease the critical and average pore diameters, while increasing the surface fractal dimension and specific surface area of macropore network. Structure liming also reduced the amounts of readily dispersible soil particles. We did not find any changes in mesopore network properties within soil aggregates or biopore networks in columns and aggregates. The effects of lime on macropore networks remain elusive, but may be caused by the formation of hydrate phases and carbonates which occupy pore space.

Keywords

Soil structure, Structure liming; Pore space; Dispersible clay; X-ray computed tomography

Published in

Geoderma
2021, volume: 390, article number: 114948
Publisher: ELSEVIER

Authors' information

Bölscher, Tobias
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Bölscher, Tobias
Lund University
Koestel, John (Koestel, Johannes)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Koestel, John (Koestel, Johannes)
Agroscope
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Ulen, Barbro
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

UKÄ Subject classification

Soil Science

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2021.114948

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/111452