Gypsum amendment effects on micromorphology and aggregation in notill Mollisols and Alfisols from western Ohio, USA

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Tirado Corbalá, Rebecca
Slater, Brian K.
Dick, Warren A.
Bigham, Jerry
Muñoz Muñoz, Miguel A.
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College of Agricultural Sciences
Department of Crops and Agro-Environmental Sciences
Degree Level
Geoderma Regional
Synthetic gypsum, a by-product of electricity generation, is used as a soil amendment to overcome water ponding, improve soil and water quality, improve field conditions to support farm equipment, and reduce the variability of crop yield in no-till fields by improving hydrology. Gypsum is a source of soluble calcium (Ca) that improves physical properties of the soil by promoting clay aggregation, thereby increasing water infiltration rates and movement through the soil profile. Undisturbed soil samples from Brookston and Celina soils in Ohio, USA were collected to a depth of 75 cm in agricultural fields treated with gypsum for 0, 4, and 12 years to determine changes in chemical and physical properties. Gypsum applications increased exchangeable Ca and Ca: Mg ratios, and promoted clay flocculation, and improved soil structure. Mean weight diameter of aggregates increased with gypsum treatment at most depths in both soils. Micromorphological analysis showed variations in porosity (ɸ), pore size distribution, pore shape, and aggregate size related to gypsum treatment, soil, and soil depth. There were no consistent responses to years of gypsum application. Gypsum treated soils had higher porosity than untreated soils in all depths <75 cm and a higher percentage of micropores and mesopores compared to the control. Also, gypsum treated soils had larger aggregates than the control for all soil depths examined. Aggregates <100 μm predominated in the Brookston control soils, and <200 μm aggregates dominated the Celina control soils. However, there was no prevailing aggregate size for gypsum treated soils. In conclusion, our study found positive effects of gypsum on most properties measured; although, not consistently related to years of gypsum applications to both soils.
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Tirado Corbalá, R., Slater, B. K., Dick, W. A., Bigham, J., & Muñoz Muñoz, M. A. (2019). Gypsum amendment effects on micromorphology and aggregation in notill Mollisols and Alfisols from western Ohio, USA [Article]. Geoderma Regional. Retrieved from