Cation Exchange Properties of Soils from Carbonate Landscape in the Central Balkan National Park

University of Forestry, BG-1797 Sofia, Bulgaria


MALINOVA, L. and D. KARATOTEVA, 2016. Cation exchange properties of soils from carbonate landscape in the Central Balkan National Park. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 22: 728–732

In the modern landscape ecology it is assumed that the landscape structure consists of discrete ‘mosaics’ as their diversity to a large extent is created by carbonate rocks. According to some researchers the impact of carbonate rocks is not always confi rmed. The cation exchange properties of Rendzic Leptosols in grassland landscapes on the territory of the “Central Balkan” National Park were studied as a prerequisite for creating a variety of soil conditions for plant nutrition. The pH, quantities of base cations, exchangeable acidity, cation capacity and base saturation were analysed and assessed. It was determined that the soil-forming process on limestone created a different reaction of the soil solution in the studied sites – neutral, medium acidic and highly acidic. Two contrasting types of cation exchange – hydrolysis-alkaline and hydrolysis-acidic occur in the soils. In the fi rst one, through neutral and slightly alkaline buffer systems, conditions for increased adsorption of base elements from the plants and defi ciency of microelements are created in the soil. The second one is characterised by conditions for mobilisation of microelements, gradual loss and possible defi ciency of base elements. The conditions for plant nutrition are different. It can be assumed that they are prerequisites for creation of mosaic structure within the boundaries of carbonate rock landscapes. It is recommended to perform the park biodiversity assessment in accordance with cation exchange properties, regardless of the soil type and soil-forming rocks, due to the numerous combinations, created by the soil-forming factors as conditions for plant nutrition.

Key words: national park, limestone, soil, рН, exchangeable cations
Abbreviations: key area (KA), national park (NP), management plan (MP)

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