The Impact of Plant Species on Soil pH


  • Dahlia J. Maroney


Soil pH is a key determinant of plant health, impacting everything from growth rate to
germination rate (Gentili et al., 2018). Understanding soil pH, and the factors that influence it, is
essential to ensuring optimal plant health and growth. While soil pH can change based on several
abiotic factors, the plants growing within the soil can also have an impact on soil pH. To
determine if the pH of forest soil would differ based on which species was grown in it, soil
samples were collected from the roots of three species in different forested parks around
Vancouver. The pH of the soil samples was then tested using a liquid anthocyanin solution. My
analysis found that there was a statistically significant difference in soil pH based on which plant
species was growing, regardless of the park in which the sample was collected. This indicates
that even when grown in polycultures exposed to dynamic environmental conditions, the nutrient
requirements of individual species are strong enough to change the pH of the nearby rhizosphere