Sposito, Garrison College of Natural Resources, Department of Plant and Soil Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California.
Last reviewed:March 2017
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- Elemental composition
- Ion exchange
- Soil solution
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The study of the composition and chemical properties of soil. Soil chemistry involves the detailed investigation of the nature of the solid matter from which soil is constituted and of the chemical processes that occur as a result of the action of hydrological, geological, and biological agents on the solid matter. Because of the broad diversity among soil components and the complexity of soil chemical processes, the application of concepts and methods employed in the chemistry of aqueous solutions, of amorphous and crystalline solids, and of solid surfaces is required. In addition, soil chemistry controls the availability of plant nutrients within the soil and thus influences plant growth (Fig. 1), yield, and nutritional value for human or animal consumption. See also: Plant growth; Plant mineral nutrition; Soil; Soil ecology
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