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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 28 No. 1, p. 170-175
    Received: July 29, 1998

    * Corresponding author(s): dpote@ag.gov
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Relationship between Phosphorus Levels in Three Ultisols and Phosphorus Concentrations in Runoff

  1. D. H. Pote *,
  2. T. C. Daniel,
  3. D. J. Nichols,
  4. A. N. Sharpley,
  5. P. A. Moore,
  6. D. M. Miller and
  7. D. R. Edwards
  1. USDA-ARS, Dale Bumpers Small Farms Res. Center, 6883 South State Hwy. 23, Booneville, AR 72927-9214;
    Dep. of Agronomy, 115 Plant Science, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701;
    USDA-ARS, 115 Plant Science, Fayetteville, AR 72701;
    Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Lab., USDA-ARS, Curtin Road, University Park, PA 16802-3702;
    Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Dep., 128 Agricultural Engineering Building, Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546.



Soils that contain high P levels can become a primary source of dissolved reactive P (DRP) in runoff, and thus contribute to accelerated eutrophication of surface waters. In a previous study on Captina soil, several soil test P (STP) methods gave results that were significantly correlated to DRP levels in runoff, but distilled H2O and NH4-oxalate methods gave the best correlations. Because results might differ on other soils, runoff studies were conducted on three additional Ultisols to identify the most consistent STP method for predicting runoff DRP levels, and determine effects of site hydrology on correlations between STP and runoff DRP concentrations. Surface soil (0–2 cm depth) of pasture plots was analyzed by Mehlich III, Olsen, Morgan, Bray-Kurtz P1, NH4-oxalate, and distilled H20 methods. Also, P saturation of each soil was determined by three different methods. Simulated rain (75 mm h−1) produced 30 min of runoff from each plot. All correlations of STP to runoff DRP were significant (P < 0.01) regardless of soil series or STP method, with most STP methods giving high correlations (r > 0.90) on all three soils. For given level of H2O-extractable STP, low runoff volumes coincided with low DRP concentrations. Therefore, when each DRP concentration was divided by volume of plot runoff, correlations to H2O-extractable STP had the same (P < 0.05) regression line for every soil. This suggests the importance of site hydrology in determining P loss in runoff, and may provide a means of developing a single relationship for a range of soil series.

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