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Crop Science Abstract - REVIEW & INTERPRETATION

The Fate and Transport of Phosphorus in Turfgrass Ecosystems


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 48 No. 6, p. 2051-2065
    Received: Mar 11, 2008

    * Corresponding author(s): djsoldat@wisc.edu
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  1. Douglas J. Soldat *a and
  2. A. Martin Petrovicb
  1. a Dep. of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1225 Observatory Dr., Madison, WI 53706
    b Dep. of Horticulture, Cornell University, 27 Plant Science Bldg., Ithaca, NY 14853


Phosphorus losses from turfgrass areas are perceived to contribute to water quality problems, yet a comprehensive review of P fate in turfgrass ecosystems is lacking. According to available data in the literature, phosphorus fertilizer inputs (2–10 kg ha−1) slightly exceed the estimated outputs of phosphorus in clippings (0.4–7.5 kg ha−1). Sediment losses from turf areas are negligible, generally limited to establishment, but runoff and leaching losses of P vary from inconsequential to severe depending on rate, source, and timing of fertilizer application. Soil properties were found to have a larger effect on runoff volume than vegetative properties. Highest runoff and leaching losses of P occurred when rainfall occurred or was simulated shortly after P fertilizer application. Leaching losses of P have historically been considered relatively minor; however, the limited research results available indicate that annual P leaching losses from mineral soils (0.2–0.7 kg ha−1) are similar in magnitude to runoff-P losses from turfgrass systems. One major gap in the knowledge is how P sources other than fertilizer (i.e., soil and plant tissue) and irrigation affect runoff and leaching losses of P.

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