Soil pH and Solubility of Aluminum, Iron, and Phosphorus in Ultisols: the Roles of Humic Acid

Hairil Ifansyah


Soil reaction (pH), aluminum (Al), iron (Fe) and phosphorus (P) are the parameters which presences in soil are related to each other. The role of each parameter on the grow than development of plants is very significant. Liming and organic mater amendment are some efforts that are frequently performed to increase the pH and P solubility and suppress the solubility of Al and Fe in the soil. Humic acid is one of the organic fractions which is presumed has roles and is closely related to the changes in soil chemical properties as mentioned above. Information about the role of humic acid on the soil pH, the solubility of Al, Fe, and P, especially in upland acidic Ultisols is still limited.  This study aims to: provide empirical data on the roles of various humic acids to soil pH and the solubility of Al, Fe, and P, specifically in upland acidic Ultisols.  The study was a laboratory experiment with a single factor which set by using a completely randomized block design and conducted in two sets of experiments. The first experiment is intended to study the roles of various humic acids derived from several sources (commercial humic acid, humic acids extracted from composted chicken manure, humic acids extracted from composted cow manure and humic acids extracted from composted goat manure) to the soil pH and solubility of Al, Fe, and P. The second experiment was aimed to see the patterns of relationships between application of humic acid (sold commercially) on pH and solubility of Al, Fe, and P. The results showed that humic acid was able to increase the soil pH, solubility of phosphorus, and suppressed the solubility of iron and aluminum with linear patterns of relationships. In increasing the pH, solubility of phosphorus, and suppressing the solubility of iron and aluminum in the soil, humic acid that is sold commercially, at the same amount of C-organics, has greater roles than those derived from organic matter of compost extracts and from organic matter of compost.

Key words: Aluminum, Humic acid, iron, pH, phosphorus

[How to Cite: Ifansyah H. 2013. Soil pH and Solubility of Aluminum, Iron, and Phosphorus in Ultisols: the Roles of Humic Acid. JTrop Soils 18 (3): 203-208. Doi: 10.5400/jts.2013.18.3.203]


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Aluminum; Humic acid; iron; pH; phosphorus

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