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Glossary:Anion exchange capacity

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The sum total of exchangeable anions that a soil can adsorb. In addition to predominantly negative charge sites which attract soil cations, all soil clays and organic matter simultaneously have a relatively small number of positive charge sites which retain anions in dynamic equilibrium with the soil solution. The number of anion negative charges retained by 100 grams of soil is called the anion exchange capacity. Expressed as milliequivalents per 100 grams of soil (or of other adsorbing material, such as clay).