Acid Strip

  • Experiment Code: R/RS/9
  • Experiment Site: Rothamsted
  • Objectives: Effects of soil acidity on soil properties under winter wheat
  • Description: This a narrow strip of land at the northern edge of Hoosfield, Rothamsted 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 pH is below 5.5. This area has been used to study the relationship between soil pH, and microbial ecology and nutrient dynamics.
  • Date Start: 1850
  • Date End: Ongoing

Key Contacts

  • Andy Gregory

  • Role: Principal Investigator
  • Organisation: Rothamsted Research
  • Address: West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom
  • Margaret Glendining

  • Role: Data Manager
  • Organisation: Rothamsted Research
  • Address: West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom

Funding

Experimental Design

Description

  • One strip (>200m) alongside the north end of Hoosfield Barley long-term field experiment

Design

  • Period: 1850 - Now

Crops

Crop Years Grown
Winter Wheat

Factors

Factors are the interventions or treatments which vary across the experiment.

Liming Exposure

Description: Small amounts of chalk applied in 19th century

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes

Measurements

Variable Unit Collection
Frequency
Material Description Crop
Soil pH

Site: Acid Strip - Rothamsted

  • Experiment Site: Rothamsted
  • Description: The acid strip is sited at the northern end of Hoosfield, Rothamsted . 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.
  • Visit Permitted?: Yes
  • Visiting Arrangments: By arrangement with Dr Andy Gregory, LTE Manager
  • Elevation: 128 Metres
  • Geolocation:    51.812944, -0.376107

Soil

  • Type: Fao Classification: Chromic Luvisol
    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

Variable Value Reference Year Is Estimated Is Baseline
Soil pH () 2008 NO NO

Datasets available

Title (hover for a longer description) Year of Publication Type DOI or Link Version

Soil data

Acid Strip soil pH and phosphorus concentration 2010 2022 Frictionless 10.23637/rrs9-SOIL2010-01 01
.

Images

Key References

2013

  • 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
    DOI: 10.1111/ejss.12026

2010

  • 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
    DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2010.58
  • Rousk, J. , Brookes, P. C. and Baath, E.(2010) "The microbial PLFA composition as affected by pH in an arable soil", Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 42, 516-520
    DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.11.026

2009

  • 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
    DOI: 10.1128/aem.02775-08

2008

  • Pietri, J. C. A. and Brookes, P. C.(2008) "Relationships between soil pH and microbial properties in a UK arable soil", Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 40, 1856-1861
    DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2008.03.020

For further information and assistance, please contact the e-RA curators, Sarah Perryman and Margaret Glendining using the e-RA email address: era@rothamsted.ac.uk