University of California

Measurement of oxygen diffusion rates with the platinum micro-electrode: II. Factors influencing the measurement


D. E. Birkle
J. Letey
L. H. Stolzy
T. E. Szuszkiewicz

Authors Affiliations

D. E. Birkle was Research Assistant in Soils and Plant Nutrition, Riverside; J. Letey was Associate Professor of Soil Physics, Riverside; L. H. Stolzy was Associate Soil Physicist, Riverside; T. E. Szuszkiewicz was Laboratory Technician in Soils and Plant Nutrition, Riverside.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 35(20):555-566. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v35n20p555. October 1964.

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In 1952, E. R. Lemon and A. E. Erickson introduced a method for measuring the rate of oxygen diffusion to a small platinum wire electrode inserted into the soil. This was considered analogous to measuring the oxygen movement to a plant root that would be in the same position as the wire electrode.

In spite of certain limitations, the platinum microelectrode technique appears still to be the best method available at present for providing a measurement of oxygen conditions in soil which can be interpreted with respect to biological behavior.

The first two papers of this series discuss theory, equipment, and the factors that can influence measurements. The third paper reviews the literature reporting research on correlation of oxygen diffusion rates to biological response.

Literature Cited

Lemon E. R., Erickson A. E. Principle of the platinum microelectrode as a method of characterizing soil aeration. Soil Sci. 1955. 79:383-92. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-195505000-00007 [CrossRef]

Lemon E. R., Kristensen J. An edaphic expression of soil structure. Transactions 7th Internatl. Congress of Soil Sci. 1960. 1:232-40.

Letey J., Stolzy L. H., Blank G. B., Lunt O. R. Effect of temperature on oxygen-diffusion rates and subsequent shoot growth, root growth, and mineral content of two plant species. Soil Sci. 1961. 92:314-21. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-196111000-00004 [CrossRef]

Letey J., Stolzy L. H., Valoras N., Szuszkiewicz T. E. Influence of oxygen diffusion rate on sunflower growth at various soil and air temperatures. Agron. Jour. 1962. 54:316-19. DOI: 10.2134/agronj1962.00021962005400040011x [CrossRef]

Poel L. W. The estimation of oxygen diffusion rates in soils. Jour. Ecol. 1960. 48:165-73. DOI: 10.2307/2257315 [CrossRef]

Wiersum R. K. Some experience in soil aeration measurements and relationships to depth of rooting. Netherlands Jour. Agr. Sci. 1960. 8:245-52.

Birkle D, Letey J, Stolzy L, Szuszkiewicz T. 1964. Measurement of oxygen diffusion rates with the platinum micro-electrode: II. Factors influencing the measurement. Hilgardia 35(20):555-566. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v35n20p555
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