Dependence of Runoff Phosphorus on Extractable Soil Phosphorus
- Andrew N. Sharpley *
The sustainable management of fertilizer and manure P to minimize freshwater eutrophication requires identification of soil P levels that exceed crop P requirements and have the potential for P enrichment of runoff. Although several states have established such P levels, insufficient data are available to theoretically justify them. Thus, this study investigates the relationship between the concentrations of P in runoff and in soil. Surface samples (0–10 cm) of 10 Oklahoma soils were packed in 0.15 m2 boxes, incubated for 7 d with poultry litter (0–20 Mg ha−1) to obtain a range in Mehlich-3 P contents (7–360 mg kg−1), and received five 30-min rainfalls applied at 1-d intervals. The concentration of dissolved, bioavailable, and particulate P in runoff was related (r2 > 0.90; P < 0.1) to the Mehlich-3 P content of surface soil (0–1 cm), with regression slopes ranging from 2.0 to 7.2, increasing as soil P sorption maxima increased (r2 = 0.93). Two soils of 200 mg kg−1 Mehlich-3 P supported a dissolved P concentration in runoff of 280 μg L−1 (San Saba clay; fine, montmorillonitic, thermic Udic Pellustert) and 1360 μg L−1 (Stigler silt loam; fine, mixed, thermic Aquic Paleudalf). Thus, relationships between runoff and soil P will have to be soil specific for use in management recommendations. A single linear relationship described the dependence of dissolved (r2 = 0.86) and bioavailable P (r2 = 0.85) on soil P sorption saturation. The added complexity of the P saturation approach may limit its application; however, the approach integrates the effect of soil type with soil P content to better estimate the potential for P loss in runoff than soil P alone.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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