Chemical and Biological Determination of Copper in Soil


SEVERAL methods, chemical as well as biological, have been suggested for the determination of copper available to plants in soil. Steenbjerg's1 method has been used here since 1940, and consists in the extraction of copper from soil with dilute hydrochloric acid of such concentration as to result in pH 2.00 of the soil suspension after shaking for one hour. This method has in this laboratory during the past three years been compared with bioassays of copper by means of Aspergillus niger according to Mulder2. Both methods are somewhat laborious and do not yield readily reproducible results, inter alia, because the time of sampling and the length of sample storage influence the results of at least the chemical method.

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  1. 1

    Steenbjerg, F., and Boken, E., Plant and Soil, 2, 195 (1950).

  2. 2

    Mulder, E. G., Arch. Mikrobiol., 9, 72 (1939).

  3. 3

    Cheng, K. L., and Bray, R. H., Anal. Chem., 25, 655 (1953)

  4. 4

    Viro, P. J., Soil Sci., 79, 459 (1955).

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