The content of exchangeable Ca, Mg, K and Na replaced by neutral ammonium acetate was determined in 470 samples of mineral soils from various parts of Finland, except from Lapland. The amount of all these cations tended to increase with an increase in the clay content, but variation within each textural class was large, and the ranges usually overlapped those of the other classes. The higher acidity of virgin surface soils was connected with a lower average degree of saturation by Ca as compared with the corresponding textural classes of cultivated soils. No significant difference in the respective contents of other cations was detected. The samples of various textural groups from deeper layers were usually poorer in exchangeable Ca and K than the corresponding groups of plough layer. The mean content of exchangeable Mg was equal or even higher in the samples from deeper layers than in the samples from plough layer, except in the group of sand soils. The percentage of Mg of the effective CEC increased, as an average, from 9 in the sand and fine sand soils of plough layer to 30 in the heavy clay soils; in the heavy clay soils from deeper layers its mean value was 38 ± 4 %. In the samples of plough layer, the mean ratio of Ca to Mg in sand and fine sand soils was about 9, in silt and loam soils about 6, in the coarser clay soils about 4, and in heavy clay about 2.
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