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How CEC changes with Soil pH

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The CEC of soil organic matter and some clay minerals varies with pH. Generally, the CEC is lowest at soil pHs

of 3.5 to 4.0 and increases as the pH is increased by liming an acid soil, as shown in Figure 2. Because CEC may

vary considerably with soil pH, it is a common practice to measure a soil’s CEC at a pH of 7.0. Also note that

some positive charges may occur on specific soil mineral surfaces at low pH. These positive charges retain anions

(negatively charged ions) such as chloride (Cl-

) and sulfate (SO4

2-

).

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