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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Relating Soil Phosphorus Indices to Potential Phosphorus Release to Water


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 29 No. 4, p. 1166-1171
    Received: Aug 11, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): pshooda@brookes.ac.uk
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  1. P. S. Hooda *,
  2. A. R. Rendell,
  3. A. C. Edwards,
  4. P. J. A. Withers,
  5. M. N. Aitken and
  6. V. W. Truesdale
  1. School of Biological and Molecular Sciences, Oxford Brookes Univ., Oxford OX3 0BP, UK;
    Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, UK;
    ADAS Bridgets, Winchester SO21 1AP, UK;
    Scottish Agricultural College, Auchincruive, Ayr KA6 5HW, UK.



Relationships between soil test phosphorus (STP) and release of P in surface and subsurface runoff are needed to help identify source areas for implementing management strategies to limit P loss to water. To determine whether soil P release could be predicted either by STP values, sorption-desorption indices, or the degree of soil saturation with phosphorus (DSSP), 11 sites with contrasting chemical properties and management histories were sampled from long-term field trials in the UK. Each site offered up to three treatments, resulting in a total of 29 soil samples. The results showed that the amount of P desorbed using a successive dilution procedure had no relationship with either total soil P content or P sorption capacity. The most significant property was the extent of P saturation. There was little desorption for DSSP values below 10%; above this point, the amount of P desorbed increased linearly with the DSSP. Five STP methods (Olsen, Mehlich-3, acidified ammonium oxalate-oxalic acid, Fe2O3-coated paper strip, and distilled water) were compared to predict their effectiveness in predicting potential P release to water. While STP values obtained using acidified ammonium oxalate proved to be least effective, those extracted with water correlated best with the amount of P desorbed, accounting for 96% of the variability in differential P release from the soils.

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