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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Short Communications

Phosphorus Leaching from Cow Manure Patches on Soil Columns


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 1, p. 17-22
    Received: May 9, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): wim.chardon@wur.nl
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  1. W. J. Chardon *,
  2. G. H. Aalderink and
  3. C. van der Salm
  1. Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA, Wageningen, the Netherlands


The loss of P in overland flow or leachate from manure patches can impair surface water quality. We studied leaching of P from 10-cm-high lysimeters filled with intact grassland soil or with acid-washed sand. A manure patch was created on two grassland and two sand-filled lysimeters, and an additional two grass lysimeters served as blanks. Lysimeters were leached in the laboratory during 234 d with a diluted salt solution, and column effluent was passed through a 0.45-μm filter, analyzed for pH, dissolved reactive P (DRP), and total dissolved P (TDP). At the end of the experiment lysimeter soil was sampled and analyzed for pH, available P, and oxalate-extractable P, Fe, and Al. The concentration of TDP in the effluent from the sand column increased to 25 mg L−1 during the first weeks and remained above 10 mg L−1 during the rest of the percolation. In effluent from grass + patch lysimeters TDP gradually increased to 4 mg L−1 Both in the manure and in the effluent of the sand lysimeter P was found mainly in the form of DRP, but in the effluent from the grass lysimeters was found mainly as dissolved unreactive P (DUP = TDP − DRP). Earthworm activity was responsible for decomposition of the manure patch on the grass lysimeters. Manure patches and their remains were found to be a long-term source of high concentrations of P in leachates. Spreading of patches after a grazing period could reduce their possible negative impacts on the environment.

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