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Berlin Environmental Atlas

01.11 Criteria for the Evaluation of the Soil Functions (Edition 2018)

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01.11.7 Nutrient Supply

Description

The nutrient supply for a site is determined based on the stock of nutrients and the nutrients available to plants. The nutrient stock consists of the minerals in the parent material, which are released when the soil weathers. The nutrients currently available as base cations of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), potassium (K) and sodium (Na) in the soil solution can be derived from the sum of interchangeable cations. (S-Value) (cf. map 01.06.08). This provides information on the total volume of base cations only, rather than on the ratio of the cations to each other. For example, a site may therefore be rich in calcium and magnesium, and yet have a potassium deficit.

Only the proportion of base cations was included here, while the nutrients phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N), which may be derived from the content of organic substances in the soil were left aside.

Methodology

To obtain an overview of the soil associations’ current nutrient supply, the individual levels of the sum of exchangable cations in the topsoil were consulted (cf. map 01.06.08).

Tab. 1 presents a basic assessment of the nutrient supply based on the base saturation: levels 1 to 6 are nutrient-poor, level 7 is medium and levels 8 to 10 are nutrient-rich.

Tab. 1: Nutrient supply levels based on the sum of exchangeable cations
Sum of exchangable cations Nutrient supply level
Nutrient supply designation
[molc/m²] Level Designation
< 1 1 extermely low 1 poor
1 - < 2 2 very low
2 - < 3.5 3 moderate to very low
3.5 - < 5 4 moderately low
5 - < 10 5 low
10 - < 25 6 moderate
25 - < 50 7 medium 2 medium
50 - < 100 8 moderately high 3 rich
100 - < 200 9 high
≥ 200 10 very high
Tab. 1: Nutrient supply levels based on the sum of exchangeable cations

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