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Redox potential (Eh) and pH as drivers of soil/plant/microorganism systems: a transdisciplinary overview pointing to integrative opportunities for agronomy

Husson O.. 2013. Plant and Soil, 362 (1-2) : p. 389-417.

Background Oxidation-reduction and acid-base reactions are essential for the maintenance of all living organisms. However, redox potential (Eh) has received little attention in agronomy, unlike pH, which is regarded as a master variable. Agronomists are probably depriving themselves of a key factor in crop and soil science which could be a useful integrative tool. Scope This paper reviews the existing literature on Eh in various disciplines connected to agronomy, whether associated or not with pH, and then integrates this knowledge within a composite framework. Conclusions This transdisciplinary review offers evidence that Eh and pH are respectively and jointly major drivers of soil/plant/microorganism systems. Information on the roles of Eh and pH in plant and microorganism physiology and in soil genesis converges to form an operational framework for further studies of soil/plant/microorganism functioning. This framework is based on the hypothesis that plants physiologically function within a specific internal Eh-pH range and that, along with microorganisms, they alter Eh and pH in the rhizosphere to ensure homeostasis at the cell level. This new perspective could help in bridging several disciplines related to agronomy, and across micro and macro-scales. It should help to improve cropping systems design and management, in conventional, organic, and conservation agriculture. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : substance nutritive; micro-organisme du sol; sol; plante de culture; rhizosphère; agronomie; potentiel redox; ph

Thématique : Chimie et physique du sol; Physiologie et biochimie végétales

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