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Practical improvements in soil redox potential (Eh) measurement for characterisation of soil properties. Application for comparison of conventional and conservation agriculture cropping systems

Husson O., Husson B., Brunet A., Babre D., Alary K., Sarthou J.P., Charpentier H., Durand M., Benada J., Henry M.. 2016. Analytica Chimica Acta, 906 : p. 98-109.

The soil redox potential (Eh) can provide essential information to characterise soil conditions. In practice, however, numerous problems may arise regarding: (i) Eh determination in soils, especially aerobic soils, e.g. variations in the instrumentation and methodology for Eh measurement, high spatial and temporal Eh variability in soils, irreversibility of the redox reaction at the surface electrode, chemical disequilibrium; and (ii) measurement interpretation. This study aimed at developing a standardised method for redox potential measurement in soils, in order to use Eh as a soil quality indicator. This paper presents practical improvements in soil Eh measurement, especially regarding the control of electromagnetic perturbations, electrode choice and preparation, soil sample preparation (drying procedure) and soil:water extraction rate. The repeatability and reproducibility of the measurement method developed are highlighted. The use of Eh corrected at pH7, pe+pH or rH2, which are equivalent notions, is proposed to facilitate interpretation of the results. The application of this Eh measurement method allows characterisation of soil conditions with sufficient repeatability, reproducibility and accuracy to demonstrate that conservation agriculture systems positively alter the protonic and electronic balance of soil as compared to conventional systems. (Résumé d'auteur)

Thématique : Chimie et physique du sol; Systèmes et modes de culture

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