Current issue: 54(2)
The particle size distribution affects several properties of the soil, thus, the ability to define the texture type of the soil as accurately as possible in field conditions is essential. The soil particle size classification devised by Atterberg (1912) is used in Finnish forestry. The study is based on a small laboratory material. The correlation between some characteristics of the soil particle size distribution, field capacity and cation exchange capacity were determined.
The particle size characteristics such as the relative proportion of different particle sizes, average particle size (Md) and parameters depicting the degree of sorting were determined. The relative proportion of soil particles below 0.06 mm correlated best with both field capacity and cation exchange capacity. Similarly, the average particle size and the degree of sorting correlated well with the field capacity and the cation exchange capacity.
The use of sorting characteristics is not well-suited to the type of soil sample material containing a high proportion of particles of varying size as was used in this material. Such characteristics are probably more easily applicable to the fine sand and sand sediments which are predominant in Finnish forest soils. The most useful particle size distribution characteristics in soils having a great variation in particle sizes were the average particle size and the relative proportion of silt and clay. Thus, the nutrient and water status of the soil can be predicted to some extent by examining the percentage of silt and clay, average particle size and the degree of sorting.
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