pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Within our experiment we looked at determining the level of acidity the soil has. You are able to see these results elsewhere on the page.
What effect does the pH level have on tress/ plants?
Soil carries the nutrients that plants need to grow so it is important for the plant that the pH levels are adequate. Plants need nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to fight of disease and to grow. (NASA)
What makes the soil acidic?
‘Decaying organic matter produces H+ which is responsible for acidity.’ Zhang shows that the organic matter within the forest is responsible for the acidity of the soil. This means that for the plants we have tested, the leaves that have fallen from the trees and had some effect on the pH levels of the soil.
Another interesting reason why the pH levels of soil may be different over a less localized area is because of the precipitation. Of a forest or wooded area (with soil) is near a factory and place of high pollution, the acidity within the soil will be effected. This acid level within the air will be caught by the rain and saturated not the ground on impact. This is not a reason why the levels where different in our findings however, but does explain how the pH levels of different towns/ cities could vary greatly.
This image is useful as showing visually the sources of some of the acidity in soils. Within the forest and our experiment, things like cows will not be present but there will be other animals carry out the same effects as the cow. Likewise, the crops that are growing may not necessarily be crops within the forest, but there will be small plants and grass growing that will have the same effect.
Zhang, H. Cause and Effects of Soil Acidity: Oklahoma State University. Availible at: http://www.soiltesting.okstate.edu/Extn_Pub/F-2239web.pdf (Accessed on: 17th April )
NASA Official Site. Published by the Unversity of Maryland's Cooperative Extension Service and Department of Agronomy.
Available at: http://soil.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.php?section=85 (Accessed on: 17th April)
Agriculture (2005) Available at :http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/agriculture/farming-management/soil-water/soil/acid-soils (Accessed on: 17th April