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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 101 No. 6, p. 1345-1351
    Received: Apr 23, 2009

    * Corresponding author(s): ycnew@ufl.edu
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Enhancing Phosphorus Phytoremedation Potential of Two Warm-Season Perennial Grasses with Nitrogen Fertilization

  1. Y. C. Newman *a,
  2. S. Agyin-Birikoranga,
  3. M. B. Adjeib,
  4. J. M. Scholbergabc,
  5. M. L. Silveirab,
  6. J. M. B. Vendraminib,
  7. J. E. Rechciglc,
  8. L. E. Sollenbergera and
  9. M. Chrysostomea
  1. a Agronomy Dep., and Soil and Water Sci. Dep., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
    b UF/IFAS Range Cattle REC, Ona, FL 33865
    c UF/IFAS Gulf Coast REC, Wimauma, FL 33598


Phytoremediation or use of plants to extract soil nutrients is a practice used to ameliorate the impacts of excessive soil nutrients. Pensacola bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flügge) and ‘Floralta’ limpograss [Hemarthria altissima (Poir.) Stapf & Hubb] were grown in a P-impacted Immokalee fine sand (Mehlich-1 P ≈ 30 mg P kg−1) to evaluate increasing N levels on dry matter yield (DMY), forage P concentration, P removal, and P dynamics in the soil profile. Treatments were four levels of N fertilization (0, 50, 67, and 101 kg N ha−1 harvest−1) replicated four times for each species. Both grasses showed increases in P removal with increasing N fertilizer applications. Phosphorus removed by forages for the highest N application level ranged from 59 (bahiagrass; 2-yr period) to 83 kg ha−1 (limpograss; 3-yr period). The initial soil P content of the Ap horizon of all N > 0 treatments decreased by ≥85% over the study period. However, more P from the control (N = 0) plots leached to subsurface horizons compared to P lost from the plots receiving N fertilizer. Nitrogen application enhanced P uptake from the soil and consequently reduced off-site P losses from the surface soil. Nitrogen application of 67 kg ha−1 harvest−1 optimized P removal by bahiagrass and limpograss. These data show that well managed, warm-season perennial forage grasses with adequate N fertilization and managed for hay production or greenchop are an option for reducing off-site P losses from P-impacted soils.

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Copyright © 2009. American Society of AgronomyCopyright © 2009 by the American Society of Agronomy