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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Plant and Environment Interactions

In Situ Dynamics of Phosphorus in the Rhizosphere Solution of Five Species


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 4, p. 1387-1392
    Received: July 13, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): wangz@lincolnu.edu
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  1. Z. Y. Wang *a,
  2. J. M. Kellya and
  3. J. L. Kovarb
  1. a Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, 253 Bessey Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1021
    b USDA-ARS National Soil Tilth Laboratory, Ames, IA 50011-4420


Root activity can modify the chemistry of the rhizosphere and alter phosphorus (P) availability and uptake. However, until recently, relatively little was known about the dynamics of soil solution P at the root surface because of our inability to measure in situ changes in solution P at the plant root. A mini-rhizotron experiment with corn (Zea mays L. cv. Stine 2250), soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr. cv. Pioneer 3563), cottonwood (Populus deltoids L.), smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.), and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) was conducted to measure the spatial and temporal dynamics of P in the rhizosphere solution of a fine silty, P-rich calcareous soil (solid-phase total P concentration = 62 mg kg−1, pH = 7.68) from western Iowa. Micro-suction cups were used to collect samples of soil solution from defined segments of the rhizosphere, and capillary electrophoresis (CE) was used to determine the P concentration of the soil solution. At the end of 10 d, a decreasing P concentration gradient in soil solution toward the root was observed in corn, cottonwood, and smooth brome. No clear rhizosphere effect was observed for soybean and switchgrass. Statistical analysis indicated significantly lower solution P concentrations in the rhizospheres of corn (p = 0.05), cottonwood (p = 0.01), and smooth brome (p = 0.01) compared with bulk soil solution. Results indicate that P depletion from rhizosphere soil solution depends on plant species. Under the conditions of this study, corn, cottonwood, and smooth brome were more effective in depleting solution P than soybean and switchgrass.

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