LDSF Topsoil Cation Exchange Capacity
This map shows the distribution of predicted topsoil (0-20cm) values for cation exchange capacity (CEC). Cation exchange capacity is the measure of total cations that can be held within the soil exchange complex and thus is an indicator of soil fertility. Cation exchange capacity is determined by the soil texture (sand, silt and clay content), mineralogy, and soil organic matter levels. Generally, sandy soils low in organic matter or soils with oxidic clay mineralogy (not the case for Haiti) will have a low CEC (< 3 cmolc kg-1), soils with higher concentrations of clay and/or organic matter can have much higher CEC (> 20 cmolc kg-1). Soils with a high percentage of basic cations held on the exchange sites (% base saturation) are generally of high fertility compared to soils with a low base saturation or high exchangeable aluminum saturation. Soils with low cation exchange capacity do not hold on to nutrients so may be at risk of nutrient leaching. Loss of nutrients can reduce plant productivity and lead to negative environmental consequences.
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