Effects of Liming on Dithionate and Oxalate Extractable Aluminium in Acid Soils

Main Article Content

Esther Mwende Muindi


Liming and phosphorus (P) applications are recommended practices for improving crop production in acid soils of the tropics. Although considerable work has been done to establish liming rates for acid soils in many parts of the world, information on the effects of lime on the forms of aluminium which actively sorb P in such soils is minimal. A greenhouse pot experiment was conducted at Waruhiu Farmers Training Centre, Githunguri to evaluate the effect of liming on oxalate and dithionate extractable aluminium in acid soils. Extremely (pH 4.48) and strongly (pH 4.59) acidic soils were evaluated. Four liming (CaO) rates namely 0, 2.2, 5.2 and 7.4 tonnes ha-1 for extremely acidic and 0, 1.4, 3.2, and 4.5 tonnes ha-1 for  strongly acidic soils were evaluated. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) and replicated three times. Data collected included: initial soil chemical properties, oxalate (Alo) and dithionate (Ald) aluminium levels. The tested soils had high exchangeable Al (> 2 cmol Al kg-1), Al saturation of (> 20% Al) and low extractable P values (< 15 mg P kg-1 soil). Liming significantly (p=.05) reduced Alo by 70% and 68% in extremely and strongly acidic soils respectively and Ald by 78% in both extremely and strongly acidic soils compared to control. Use of 7.4 tonnes ha-1 of lime in extremely acidic soils and 4.5 tonnes ha-1 of lime in strongly acidic soils significantly (p=.05) reduced both Alo and Ald by > 68% compared to no lime. It was, therefore, concluded that liming contributes to the reduction of soluble Alo and Ald in acid soils of the Kenya highlands leading to increased soluble P availability. Studies are required to provide short and long term optimal liming rates that reduce Alo and Ald without distabilizing availability of other nutrients in field conditions under wide range of acid soils.

Lime, phosphorus, oxalate aluminium, dithionate aluminium, acid soils.

Article Details

How to Cite
Mwende Muindi, E. (2020). Effects of Liming on Dithionate and Oxalate Extractable Aluminium in Acid Soils. Asian Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 5(3), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajsspn/2019/v5i330069
Original Research Article


Rengel Z. Handbook of soil acidity. CRC Press. 2003;512.

Sade H, Meriga B, Surapu V, Gadi J, Sunita MS, Suravajhala P, Kavi Kishor PB. Toxicity and tolerance of aluminum in plants: Tailoring plants to suit to acid soils. Biometals. 2016;29(2):187-210.

Muindi EM, Semu E, Mrema JP, Mtakwa PW, Gachene CK, Njogu MK. Soil acidity management by farmers in the kenya highlands. J Agric & Ecology Res Intern. 2016;5(3):1-11.

Goulding KW. Soil acidification and the importance of liming agricultural soils with particular reference to the United Kingdom. Soil Use Manag. 2016;32(3): 390–399.

Jorge RA, Arrunda P. Aluminium induced organic acids exudation by roots of aluminium tolerant maize. Phytochemistry. 1997;45(4):675-681.

Brady CN, Weil RR. The Nature and Properties of Soils, 14th Ed; Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey. 2008;975.

Mohammadi K. Phosphorus solubilizing bacteria: Occurrence, mechanisms and their role in crop production. Res & Environ 2012;2:80-85.

Nduwumuremyi A. Soil acidification and lime quality; sources of soil acidity, effects on plant nutrients, efficiency of lime and liming requirements. Research reviews. J. Agric and Allied Sci. 2013;2(4): 26-34.

Foy CD. Physiological effects of hydrogen, aluminium and manganese toxicities in acid soil. In: Soil acidity and liming. (Edited by Adams, F.). American Society of Agronomy, Madison. 1984;57-97.

Schwertmann U. Solubility and dissolution of iron oxides. Plant and Soil. 1991;130:1-25.

Sale PWG, Mokwunye AU. Use of phosphate rocks in the tropics. Fert Res. 1993;35:33-45.

McLean EO. Chemistry of soil aluminium. Communications in soil science and plant analysis. 1976;7(7):619-636

Bojórquez-Quintal E, Escalante-Magaña C, Echevarría-Machado I, Martínez-Estévez M Front. Aluminum, a friend or foe of higher plants in acid soils. A review. Plant Sci. 2017;8:1767.

Singh S, Tripathi DK, Singh S, Sharma S, Dubey NK, Chauhan DK, Vaculík M. Toxicity of aluminium on various levels of plant cells and organism: A review. Environ. Exp. Bot. 2017;137:177–193.

Marschner H. Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants. Acadmic Press, London. 1986; 674.

Udin F. Montmorillonite: An introduction to properties and utilization. Intech Open. 2018;24.

Sposito G. Eds. The Environmental chemistry of Aluminum. Lewish Publishers. 1995;271-318.

Poschenrieder C, Gunsé B, Corrales I, Barceló J. A glance into aluminum toxicity and resistance in plants. Sci Total Environ. 2008;400(1-3):356-68.

Bernini T, Pereira A, Gervasio M, Lúcia A, Cunha dos H, Daniel Vidal P, Ademir F, Sebastião Barreiros C, Paulo Guilherme Salvador P. Quantification of aluminium in soil of the solimões formation, Acre State, Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo. 2013;37(6):1587-1598

Carson CD, Dixon JB, Acidity. The Encyclopedia of Soil Science. Hutchinson. Ross Inc. Penn. 1979;1-3.

Pietraszewska MT. Effect of aluminium on plant growth and metabolism. A review. Acta Biochim Pol. 2001;48(3):673-86

Grevenstuk T, Romano A. Aluminium speciation and internal detoxification mechanisms in plants: Where do we stand? Metallomics. 2013;5(12):1584-94.

Kobayashi Y, Kobayashi Y, Watanabe T, Shaff JE, Ohta H, Kochian LV, Wagatsuma T, Kinraide TB, Koyama H. Molecular and physiological analysis of Al³⁺ and H⁺ rhizotoxicities at moderately acidic conditions. Plant Physiol. 2013;163(1):180-192.

Amarasiri SL, Olsen SR. Liming as related to solubility of P and plant growth in an acid tropical soil. Soil Sci Soc Amer J. 1973;37:716-720.

Fageria NK, Baligar VC. Ameliorating soil acidity of tropical oxisols by liming for sustainable crop production. Adv in Agron. 2008;99:345-389.

Clarkson DT. The Effect of aluminium and some other trivalent metal cations on cell division in the root apices of Allium cepa. Ann. Bot. 1965;29:309–315.

Bose J, et al. Specificity of ion uptake and homeostasis maintenance during acid and aluminium stresses. Aluminum Stress Adaptation in Plants. Springer, Cham. 2015;229-251.

Mariano ED, Keltjens WG. Long-term effects of aluminum exposure on nutrient uptake by maize genotypes differing in aluminum resistance. J. Plant Nutr. 2005; 28:323–333.

Chen ZC, Liao H. Organic acid anions: An effective defensive weapon for plants against aluminum toxicity and phosphorus deficiency in acidic soils. J Genet Genomics. 2016;43(11):631-638.

Muhrizal S, Shamshuddin J, Husni MHA, Fauziah I. Alleviation of aluminum toxicity in an acid sulfate soil in Malaysia using organic materials. Comm in Soil Sci and Plant Analy. 2003;34(19-20):2993–3012.

Mora ML, Cartes P, Demanet R, Cornforth IS. Effects of lime and gypsum on pasture growth and composition on an acid Andisol in Chile, South America. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 2002;33:2069– 2081.

Manson A, Findlay N. Agricultural Uses of Lime and Gypsum. KZN Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Soil Fertility Research, Analytical Services; Cedara, South Africa. 2015;1–3.

Muindi EM, Mrema JP, Semu E, Mtakwa PW, Gachene CK, Njogu MK. Lime-Aluminium-Phosphorus interactions in the Kenya Highlands. Amer J of Exper Agric. 2015;9(4):1-10.

Guertal WR. The Pedologic Nature of Weathered Rock. In: Cremeens DL, et al. Eds., Whole Regolith Pe-dology, SSSA, Madison. 1994;21-40.

Torrent J, Barron V, Schwertmann U. Phosphate adsorption and desorption by goethites differing in crystal morphology. Soil Sc Soc of Amer J. 1990;54(17):1007-1012.

Angers DA, Chenu C. Dynamics of soil aggregation and carbon sequestration. In: Lal R, Kimble JM, Follett RF, Stewart BA, Eds., Soil processes and the carbon cycle, advances in soil science. CRC Press.1998; 199-206.

Bear J, Corapcioglu MY. Advances in transport processes in porous media. Springer science and Business Media. 1987;1030.

Roborage WP, Corey RB. Adsorption of phosphate by hydroxyl aluminium species on a cation exchange resin. Soil Sci Soc of Amer Journ.1979;43:481-487.

Sims JT, Ellis BG. Changes in phosphorus adsorption associated with aging of aluminum hydroxide suspensions. Soil Sci Soc of Amer Journ. 1983;47:912-916.

Kanyanjua SM, Ireri L, Wambua S, Nandwa SM. Acid soils in Kenya: Constraints and remedial options. KARI Technical Note. 2002;11:24.

Okalebo JR, Gathua KW, Woomer PL. Laboratory methods of soil analysis: A working manual (2nd ed.). TSBR-CIAT and SACRED Africa, Nairobi, Kenya. 2002; 88.

McKeague JA, Day JH. Dithionite and oxalate extractable Fe and Al as aids in differentiating various classes of soils. Canad J of Soil Sci. 1966;46:13-22.

Mehra OP, Jackson ML. Iron oxide removal from soils and clay by a dithionite-citrate system buffered with sodium bicarbonate. Clays and Clay Minerals. 1960;7(3):17-327

Mechlich AA, Pinkerton RW, Kempton R. Mass analysis methods for soil fertility evaluation. Ministry of Agriculture, Nairobi. 1962;1-29.

Cochrane TT, Salinas JG, Sanchez PA. An equation for liming acid mineral soils to compensate crop aluminium tolerance. Tropical Agriculture (Trinidad). 1980;57: 33-40.

GenStat. The GenStat Teaching Edition. GenStat Release 7.22 TE, Copyright 2008, VSN International Ltd; 2010.

Landon JR. Booker tropical soils manual: A handbook for soil survey and agricultural land evaluation in the tropics and subtropics. John Wiley and Sons, New York. 1991;465.

Buresh RJ, Smithson PC, Hellums DT. Building soil phosphorus capital in Africa. In: Replenishing soil fertility in Africa. (Edited by Buresh PJ, et al.). Soil Science Society of America Special Publication, Madison. 1997;111-149

Sanchez PA, Shephard KD, Soule MJ, Place FM, Buresh RJ, Izac AN, Mokwunye AU, Kwesiga FR, Ndiritu CG, Woomer PL. Soil fertility replenishment in Africa: An investment in natural resource capital. In: Replenishing soil fertility in Africa, SSSA Special Publication (Edited by Buresh RJ, Sanchez PA, Calhoun F.) SSSA, Madison.1997;1-46.

Van Straaten P. Rocks for crops: Agro minerals for sub-Saharan Africa. ICRAF, Nairobi. 2002;25-28.

Sombroek WG, Braun HMH, van de Pouw. Exploratory soil map and agro-climatic zone map of Kenya. Scale 1:1000, 000. Exploratory soil survey report No. E1. Kenya Soil Survey, Nairobi. 1982;1- 78.

Kamprath E J. Crop response to lime in the tropics, In: Soil acidity and liming, 2nd Ed; Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America, Madison. 1984;349-68.

Lauchli A, Bieleski RL. Inorganic plant nutrition. Springer science and business media, NewYork. 2012;450.

Rayment GE, Lyons DJ. Soil chemical methods- Australasia. CSIRO publishers, Collingwood. 2011;482.

Gasparatos D, Haidouti C, Haroulis A, Tsaousidou P. Estimation of phosphorus status of soil Fe-enriched concentrations with the acid ammonium oxalate method. Comm in Soil Sc and Plant Analy. 2006; 37:2375-2387.

Vaananen R, Hristov J, Tanskanen N, Hartikainen H, Nieminen M, Ilvesniemi H. Phosphorus sorption properties in podzolic forest soils and soil solution phosphorus concentrations in undisturbed and disturbed soil profiles. Boreal Environ Res. 2008;13:553-567.