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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Development of Pedotransfer Functions to Quantify Phosphorus Saturation of Agricultural Soils


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 28 No. 6, p. 2026-2030
    Received: Dec 17, 1998

    * Corresponding author(s): pjk9@psu.edu
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  1. Peter J. A. Kleinman *,
  2. R. B. Bryant and
  3. W. S. Reid
  1. USDA-ARS, Pasture Systems and Watershed Manage. Res. Lab., Curtin Road, University Park, PA 16802-3702;
    Dep. of Soil, Crop and Atmospheric Sciences, Bradfield Hall, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY, 14850.



Soil P saturation affects the risk of P loss to surface and ground water and is therefore a critical environmental indicator in regions where eutrophication is a concern. In the USA, most soil testing laboratories do not include environmental indicators such as soil P saturation as standard soil test options. Development of pedotransfer functions that relate soil test data to soil P saturation, however, would enable soil testing laboratories to estimate soil P saturation as part of soil test results without significant additional expenditures. This study examines associations between readily-available soil test data (pH, soil organic matter, and extractable P, Al, Fe, and Ca) and soil P saturation as estimated by acid ammonium oxalate extraction. Fifty-nine soil samples were collected from the Delaware River Watershed in New York State (42°21′N, 74°52′W) and subjected to standard soil test analyses as well as to acid ammonium oxalate extraction. Some soil test variables were well correlated with soil P saturation. As a single predictor, soil test P was most highly correlated to soil P saturation (r = 0.88). This association supports the use of soil test P as an environmental indicator. Soil test Al also was well correlated with soil P saturation following logarithmic transformation (r = 0.73). Multivariate pedotransfer functions containing soil test P, Al, Fe, soil organic matter, and pH did not significantly improve estimation of soil P saturation (R = 0.91) above soil test P alone.

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