Acid Strip

Local identifier
R/RS/9
Years operational
1850—
Objective
Effects of soil acidity on soil properties under winter wheat
Description
This is an area on the north end of Hoosfield Barley long-term field experiment with a soil pH ranging from 3.7 to 7.8 (at 0-23cm depth) due to uneven applications of chalk in the 19th Century. Spring barley was grown continuously for over 100 years. It is now sown to winter wheat each year, given only 100 kg N ha-1.The wheat starts to die out about half way along the plot, when the pHis below 5.5. This area has been used to study the relationship between soil pH, and microbial ecology and nutrient dynamics.
Farm operation data?
Sample archive?
Samples available?
 
Data Access Statement
No data statement
Data license
CC BY
Data policy
Yes (not online)
Organizations
Rothamsted Research
research organisation
Dr Sarah Perryman
Data manager
People

Site: Acid Strip

Type
research station field
Local code
R/RS/9
Location
Harpenden
Hertfordshire
United Kingdom
Geographic location
51.812629, -0.375816
© OpenStreetMap contributors
Elevation
128 Metres
Visits permitted?
No
Visiting arrangements
By arrangement with Dr Andy Macdonald
History
The acid strip is sited at one end of Hoosfield Barley Long-term Experiment. It been under arable management since before the 19th century. It had uneven applications of chalk in the 19th century at which time chalk was dug from 'bell-pits' on neighboring slopes and spread by hand to improve the fertility and workability of the originally acid soils. Spring barley was grown continuously for over 100 years. It is now sown to winter wheat each year. The acid strip has not received any amendment including chemical or organic fertilizer since then. By the 1950's, reserves of CaCO3 remaining from earlier applications had become exhausted by leaching, especially at further distances from the chalk pits. Here the soil became acidic. It is now sown to winter wheat each year and the wheat starts to die out about half way along the plot, when the pH is below 5.5.
Management
100 kg N ha-1 applied per year.
Soil type
FAO Classification: chromic luvisol
Soil description
Soil survey of England & Wales soil series: Batcombe-Carstens mix with sandier inclusions Chromic luvisols soils were originally acidic, well-drained to moderately well-drained and developed in a relatively silty (loess-containing) superficial deposit overlaying, and mixed with, clay-with-flints. The topsoil is a flinty, silty clay loam (18–27% clay).
Soil properties
VariableDepthValue (range)UnitsRef yearEstimated?Baseline?
soil pH (3.7 – 8.3) 2008

Design period: Whole period (1850—)

Description
One strip (>200m) alongside the north end of Hoosfield Barley long-term field experiment
Crop
CropYears grown
winter wheat
Factor
liming exposure
Small amounts of chalk applied in 19th century

Related publications

  • Turner, B. L. and Blackwell, M. S. A. (2013) "Isolating the influence of pH on the amounts and forms of soil organic phosphorus", European Journal of Soil Science, 64, 249-259
  • Rousk, J. , Baath, E. , Brookes, P. C. , Lauber, C. L. , Lozupone, C. , Caporaso, J. G. , Knight, R. and Fierer, N. (2010) "Soil bacterial and fungal communities across a pH gradient in an arable soil", ISME Journal, 4, 1340-1351
  • Rousk, J. , Brookes, P. C. and Baath, E. (2010) "The microbial PLFA composition as affected by pH in an arable soil", Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 42, 516-520
  • Rousk, J. , Brookes, P. C. and Baath, E. (2009) "Contrasting Soil pH Effects on Fungal and Bacterial Growth Suggest Functional Redundancy in Carbon Mineralization", Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 75, 1589-1596
    [In English]
  • Pietri, J. C. A. and Brookes, P. C. (2008) "Relationships between soil pH and microbial properties in a UK arable soil", Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 40, 1856-1861