Articles | Volume 7, issue 4
Research article
11 Jul 2016
Research article |  | 11 Jul 2016

Fixation kinetics of chelated and non-chelated zinc in semi-arid alkaline soils: application to zinc management

Theophilus K. Udeigwe, Madeleine Eichmann, and Matthew C. Menkiti

Abstract. This study was designed to examine the fixation pattern and kinetics of zinc (Zn) in chelated (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, EDTA) and non-chelated mixed micronutrient systems of semi-arid alkaline soils from the Southern High Plains, USA. Soils were characterized for a suite of chemical and physical properties and data obtained from extraction experiments fitted to various kinetic models. About 30 % more plant-available Zn was fixed in the non-chelated system within the first 14 days with only about 18 % difference observed between the two systems by day 90, suggesting that the effectiveness of the chelated compounds tended to decrease over time. The strengths of the relationships of change in available Zn with respect to other micronutrients (copper, iron, and manganese) were higher and more significant in the non-chelated system (average R2 of 0.83), compared to the chelated (average R2 of 0.42). Fixation of plant-available Zn was best described by the power-function model (R2 = 0.94, SE  =  0.076) in the non-chelated system, and was poorly described by all the models examined in the chelated system. Reaction rate constants and relationships generated from this study can serve as important tools for micronutrient management and for future micronutrient modeling studies on these soils and other semi-arid regions of the world.

Short summary
Micronutrient fixation leads to the reduction of plant-available portions. This study examined the fixation kinetics of chelated and non-chelated zinc (Zn) in semi-arid soils. About 30 % more Zn was fixed in the non-chelated system in the first 14 days. Slope of change of Zn to Cu (i.e., Cu–Zn) was higher than other micronutrients. Zn fixation kinetics were better described by a power-function model. Tools developed from this study will be used to advance micronutrient management.