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Year: 2010  |  Volume: 20  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 43 - 54

Soil Wettability as Affected by Soil Characteristics and Land Use

X.Y. WANG, Y. ZHAO and R. HORN    

Abstract: Depth distribution of soil wettability and its correlations with vegetation type, soil texture, and pH were investigated under various land use (cropland, grassland, and forestland) and soil management systems. Wettability was evaluated by contact angle with the Wilhelmy plate method. Water repellency was likely to be present under permanently vegetated land, but less common on tilled agricultural land. It was mostly prevalent in the topsoil, especially in coarse-textured soils, and decreased in the subsoil. However, the depth dependency of wettability could not be derived from the investigated wide range of soils. The correlation and multiple regression analysis revealed that the wettability in repellent soils was affected more by soil organic carbon (SOC) than by soil texture and pH, whereas in wettable soils, soil texture and pH were more effective than SOC. Furthermore, the quality of SOC seemed to be more important in determining wettability than its quantity, as proofed by stronger hydrophobicity under coniferous than under deciduous forestland. Soil management had a minor effect on wettability if conventional and conservation tillage or different grazing intensities were considered.

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