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High soil acidity under native shrub encroachment in the Cobar Pediplain, south-eastern Australia


Tighe, M and Reid, N and Wilson, BR and McHenry, MT, High soil acidity under native shrub encroachment in the Cobar Pediplain, south-eastern Australia, Rangeland Journal, 40, (5) pp. 451-462. ISSN 1036-9872 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Australian Rangeland Society

DOI: doi:10.1071/RJ17124


This study investigated the chemical characteristics of shallow (0–30 cm) soil profiles under shrubs in areas of dense encroachment and compared them with shallow soil profiles under nearby large trees. Consistent patterns of high soil acidity were found under shrubs, as well as lower litter alkalinity, lower relative concentrations of calcium (Ca2+), lower effective cation exchange capacity, and higher aluminium (Al3+) and sodium (Na+) in the soil profile compared with under trees. Soil pH (CaCl2) was strongly correlated with the Ca content of surface litter. These findings suggest that shrubs (which at most sites included the shrub form of tree species) cycle alkalinity differently from large and mature trees, resulting in high acidity in the shallow soil profile acidity, and possible loss of alkalinity via surface movement of material from areas of dense encroachment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:landscape ecology, leaf litter, root–soil interactions, semi-arid shrublands, soil acidity, woody vegetation thickening, climate change
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Physical geography and environmental geoscience not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:McHenry, MT (Dr Melinda McHenry)
ID Code:129523
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2018-12-04
Last Modified:2019-03-15

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