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The distribution of manganese in British Columbia soils Baker, Joseph

Abstract

A survey was undertaken to determine the manganese status of some of the more important soil associations of British Columbia. Three fractions of soil manganese, total, available and hydroquinone reducible were determined in the surface and parent materials of 45 uncultivated soil profiles. The standard colorimetric procedure as described by Sandell was used for the determination of total manganese, with certain modifications introduced which made it especially suited for use with soil. Available manganese was estimated by replacement with ammonium acetate and the hydroquinone reducible fraction, using the same reagent with a 0.2% hydroquinone solution added. The total manganese content of the samples was found to range from 0.007% to 0.494%. These values compared favorably with those reported for the soils of the United States, but proved to be somewhat higher than the values recorded for the soils of Australia. When the total manganese values obtained were compared by regions, the samples from the Lower Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island were generally highest and those from the Peace River Area lowest in manganese content. The samples from the Central Interior, Okanagan Valley, Rocky Mountain Trench and Kootenays were generally intermediate in total manganese content. The available and hydroquinone reducible manganese content of the samples proved to be high also as compared to values reported from other countries. The high values generally obtained for total, available and hydroquinone reducible manganese indicate that most soils in British Columbia are adequately supplied with this element. In fact, the indescriminate use of manganese fertilizers might prove detrimental by increasing naturally high levels of available manganese to a point where it would prove harmful to plant growth. Soils deficient in manganese for normal plant growth may occur in British Columbia. If such is the case, it is to be expected that the deficiency would be associated with such conditions as alkaline soil reaction, excessive use of lime, organic matter depletion and ion interference. Should manganese deficiency be suspected in a soil a very careful study of the condition should be made before manganese fertilization is recommended.

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