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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 28 No. 4, p. 1308-1313
    Received: July 31, 1998

    * Corresponding author(s): vdna@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu
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Phosphorus Retention Capacity of the Spodic Horizon under Varying Environmental Conditions

  1. V. D. Nair *,
  2. R. R. Villapando and
  3. D. A. Graetz
  1. Soil and Water Science Dep., 106 Newell Hall, Box 110510, Univ. of Florida, Inst. of Food and Agric. Sciences, Gainesville, FL 32611.



The spodic (Bh) horizon of Spodosols with Al, Fe, and C accumulations usually has a high P sorption capacity. However, the Bh horizon of prevalent Spodosols in the Lake Okeechobee basin of Florida is subject to a fluctuating watertable that could change the dynamics of P in these soils under alternating aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Further, the Bh horizon of this basin is often impacted by P moving vertically following heavy surface application of dairy manure. Our objectives were to relate the P retention capacity of the Bh horizons of the Lake Okeechobee basin to other soil parameters, and to evaluate P retention of manure-impacted Bh horizons under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. High watertable decreased the P retention capacity for the majority of the soils in this study. High manure-impacted areas have Bh horizons with high P concentrations as a result of P movement from the surface A horizon through the eluted E horizon. The P appeared to be temporarily retained and could be released upon prolonged contact with water. This P is likely to move horizontally above the Bh horizon to drainage ditches and eventually into the lake, causing eutrophication. The equilibrium P concentrations and water soluble P concentrations of Bh horizon soils that did not receive high rates of manure application (native soils and pasture soils) are low and it is unlikely that P would move laterally out of such systems, above the Bh horizon.

Florida Agric. Exp. Stn., Journal Series R-06443.

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