WRI Seminar – A/Prof. Luke Mosley
Aug 17, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
WRI seminar series showcases the excellent science our members, affiliates and collaborators are undertaking across the agriculture, food and wine sectors. Expand your network and find new collaborators!
Everyone is welcome – seminars are generally scheduled at 1pm on Wednesdays, with some exceptions. Registration is required to view online.
A/Prof. Luke Mosley – Soil pH: a misunderstood master variable?
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
WHEN: Wednesday 17th August 2022, 1pm
WHERE: McLeod Theatre and online
Soil acidity is major constraint to agricultural production in Australia, resulting in an estimated $400 million loss in crop production annually. Soil acidification is being accelerated by agricultural practices, its main cause in cropping soils being inefficient use of nitrogen, followed by the export of alkalinity in produce. 4-5 million hectares of cropping land in South Australia currently has surface soil that is acidic, or has potential to become acidic. Soil pH is the key parameter used to assess soil acidification, and is a so-called ‘master variable’ that influences a wide range of biological and chemical processes (e.g. nutrient and metal availability, microbial reactions, CO2 system equilibria, corrosion). Given the importance of measuring pH in soil, how well do we understand this variable? This presentation will firstly outline some of the history, problems and pitfalls associated with conventional soil pH measurements using glass electrodes and electrolyte (e.g. CaCl2) extractant solutions. State of the art soil pH measurements using indicator dye and infra-red spectroscopy and ‘on the go’ sensing technology will be discussed. It will also be highlighted how variable soil pH is at both micro (e.g. rhizosphere) and macro (e.g. paddock) scales.
About the speaker
Luke is a lecturer and researcher in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the Waite Campus. He teaches undergraduate soil and water courses and leads several government and industry funded projects. His biogeochemical research group has a strong research focus on soil acidification, including a current project with SARDI and the GRDC developing novel technologies and amelioration strategies for acidic soils in South Australia. One of his key research areas is on acid sulfate soils, building on previous work for the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) protecting water supplies and ecosystems from the effects of exposure and acidification of these during the Millennium Drought. Luke has a PhD in environmental chemistry from the University of Otago (New Zealand). He was President of Soil Science Australia from 2018-2020.