Possible method of aluminium speciation in forest soils.
ABSTRACT Labile Al forms and species can be a threat in acid soils due to their potential toxicity to plants. However, there is no universally accepted extraction method. Several extraction reagents for Al release from soil have been tested. KCl (0.5 or 1 M) is recommended for extraction of exchangeable Al, while 0.5 or 0.3 M CuCl(2) is suggested for extraction of 'weakly organically bound Al'. Both 0.1 and 0.05 M Na(4)P(2)O(7) are shown to be suitable for the extraction of 'total organically bound Al'. These extractions are relatively simple, robust, and applicable to different soils and soil horizons. In the second part of the paper, detailed speciation of exchangeable soil Al by means of an HPLC instrument equipped with an ion column (IC) is presented. An experimental set-up is described and tested on a set of samples. Interpretation of the speciation results is proposed, based on the separation of Al ions and Al complexes according to their charge. Speciation is shown to be dependent mainly on soil pH and organic matter quality. A general scheme of Al fractionation and speciation in soil is proposed.