Differences in phosphorus retention and release in soils amended with animal manures and sewage sludge
Siddique, M. T. and Robinson, J. S. (2004) Differences in phosphorus retention and release in soils amended with animal manures and sewage sludge. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 68 (4). pp. 1421-1428. ISSN 0361-5995
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Excessive levels of P in agricultural soils pose a threat to local water quality. This study evaluated (i) time-dependent changes in soil P sorption (expressed as a phosphorus sorption index, PSI) and P availability (as resin P) during incubation (100 d) with poultry litter, cattle slurry, sewage sludge, or KH2PO4, added on a P-equivalent basis (100 mg P kg(-1)), and (ii) the subsequent kinetics of P release, measured by repeated extractions with a mixed cation-anion exchange resin. Soil exchangeable Ca and ammonium oxalate-extractable Fe and Al were also determined at 100 d of incubation. The small decrease in P sorption in the litter and sludge treatments (25%), compared with that in the slurry and KH2PO4 treatments (52%) between 20 and 100 d of incubation was attributed partly to the formation of new adsorption sites for P. Subsequent P release was described by a power equation: Resin P = a(extraction number)(b), where the constants a and b represent resin P obtained with a single extraction and the rate of P release per resin extraction, respectively. On average, the rate of P release decreased in the order: KH2PO4 and slurry > litter > sludge, and was inversely related to exchangeable Ca content of the incubated soils (R-2 = 0.57). The slower rates of P release in the litter and sludge treatments (P < 0.001) are attributed to the large values for exchangeable Ca (1050-2640 and 1070-2710 mg kg(-1), respectively) in these amended soils. Future research concerned with short-term declines in environmentally harmful levels of P in recently amended soils should consider the differential effects of the amendments on soil P dynamics.