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Fractions of soil boron: a review

  • R. PADBHUSHAN (a1) and D. KUMAR (a2)

Summary

Knowledge of different fractions and availability of boron (B) is essential while studying the response of crops to B. Fractionation provides information about the chemistry of B and quantifies its bioavailability. Such information is potentially valuable for predicting bioavailability, B leaching, dynamics, transformation between chemical forms in soils and environmental impacts. Total B (T-B) is quantified into five fractions: readily soluble (Rs-B), specifically adsorbed (Spa-B), oxide bound (Ox-B), organically bound (Org-B) and residual B (Res-B). Of these, Rs-B is the fraction present in soil solution and adsorbed weakly by soil particles, and is most readily available for plant uptake. It accounts for 1–2% of T-B. The second most plant available form is Spa-B; it may be adsorbed onto clay surfaces or associated with organic matter (OM) in soil. The remaining fractions, Ox-B, Org-B and Res-B, are unavailable for plant uptake. The major portion (generally 87·4–99·7%) of T-B is composed of Res-B. Overall, the relative proportion of B in various fractions is in the order of Res B > Org-B > Spa-B > Rs-B > Ox-B. Several factors such as soil pH, soil OM, clay minerals, iron and aluminium oxides and calcium carbonate content may change the relative proportion of B in various fractions and the transformations among different soil B fractions. Some of the B fractions are correlated with others and exhibit responses in terms of plant growth. Non-specifically adsorbed (Nsa-B) and Spa-B are positively and significantly correlated to some sub-fractions of Ox-B, such as B occluded in manganese oxyhydroxides (Moh-B). The most readily available forms of B for plants are Nsa-B, Spa-B and Moh-B.

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* To whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email: rajpd01@gmail.com

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Fractions of soil boron: a review

  • R. PADBHUSHAN (a1) and D. KUMAR (a2)

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