What is pH?

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Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural
Resources
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Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural
Resources
What is pH?
Unit 3 – Lesson 3.2 Principles of pH
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What is pH?
pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity in
a soil.
Acid is a term used for a substance with a
pH value less than 7.0.
Alkaline (aka, Base) is a term used for a
substance with a pH value greater than
7.0.
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pH Scale
• pH is measured on
a scale of 0 - 14
• pH value of 7.0 is
neutral
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pH Scale
• The pH scale is special in that each pH
point multiplies the pH factor by 10.
• For example:
– A pH of 5.0 is 10 times more acidic than pH
6.0 and 100 times more acidic than pH 7.0.
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Who cares about pH?
• Plant producers
– A correct soil pH allows plants to uptake soil
nutrients required for growth and health.
– Certain soil nutrients become unavailable at
different pH levels.
• Animal producers
– Nutrient uptake in digestion
• Agricultural scientists
– Food preservation
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Buffers
• Chemical substances that neutralize acids
or bases when added to a solution
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References
Feldkamp, S. (Ed.). (2002). Modern biology.
Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.
Plaster, E. J. (2003). Soil science and
management (4th ed.). Clifton Park, NY:
Delmar.
Redding, K., & Masterman, D. (2007).
Biology with Vernier. Beaverton, OR:
Vernier Software & Technology.
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