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Phosphorus dynamics in a tropical forest soil restored after strip mining

Spain, A. V., Tibbett, M. ORCID:, Ridd, M. and Mclaren, T. I. (2018) Phosphorus dynamics in a tropical forest soil restored after strip mining. Plant and Soil, 427 (1-2). pp. 105-123. ISSN 0032-079X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s11104-018-3668-8


Background and aims We hypothesized that successful early ecosystem and soil development in these P-deficient soil materials will initially depend on effective re-establishment of P storage and cycling through organic matter. This hypothesis was tested in a 26-year chronosequence of seven lightly fertilized, oxidic soil materials restored to eucalypt forest communities after bauxite mining. Methods Total P (Pt) status, Hedley P fractions and partial chemical speciation (NaOH-EDTA extraction and analysed using solution 31P NMR spectroscopy) were determined in the restored soils. Results Concentrations of Pt and most Hedley fractions changed with restoration period, declined with depth and were strongly positively correlated with C and N concentrations. Biological P dominated the Labile and Intermediate P fractions while Long-term P was dominantly inorganic. Organic P concentrations in NaOH-EDTA extracts and their chemical natures were similar in restored and unburned native forest sites. Phosphomonoesters were the dominant class of organic P. Conclusions Surprisingly rapid P accretion and fractional changes occurred over 26 years, largely in the surface soils and closely associated with organic matter status. Alkaline hydrolysis products of phosphodiesters and pyrophosphate indicated the importance of microbial P cycling. The important consequences for long-term ecosystem development and biological diversity require further study.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:77401


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