Darn Tim this is getting heavy
Maybe Sean Adams of Lawnsite needs to start a topic called Advanced Agronomy.
Agronomy is the science of Cultivation of land. Now this covers a wide area of knowledge, every thing from plant physiology to chemistry of soil. Chemistry of Soil is in fact the hardest science there is because there are so many variables. No two-soil samples are the same.
Now my homework assignment is “does the cec play a role?” Sure is it does, but how and why is the question. Chemistry of soil deal with many variables, each of these variables affects the other. We have already established that ureaformaldehydes (UF) is broken down by Microbial activity. So how does CEC affect Microbes?
Biota (Soil Organisms) includes plants, animals and microbes. Biota produces organic materials that enhance the weathering process and this decomposition produces organic compounds that can blind to (or chelate) cations and anions. Increased organic material in the rhizosphere or SOM decreases pH and increases CEC. This is how microbial affects CEC not how CEC affects microbial.
Now an old professor of mine use to repeatly say, “Everything is everywhere and the environment selects” An example of his statement might be Brown patch fungus. Rhizoctonia solani is the microbe that causes brown patch. Rhizoctonia solani microbes are in soil worldwide. However until we add excessive N and temperature under 90 degrees and above 60 degrees does Rhizoctonia solani start to increase in population large enough to show effect on our turf. Therefore CEC holds the compounds that are used by microbes as food. However it is AEC that holds Nitrate (NO3) the plant useable form of nitrogen.