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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 1, p. 305-315
    Received: Apr 5, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): gerwin.koopmans@wur.nl
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Phosphorus Movement and Speciation in a Sandy Soil Profile after Long-Term Animal Manure Applications

  1. G. F. Koopmans *a,
  2. W. J. Chardonb and
  3. R. W. McDowellc
  1. a Dep. of Soil Quality, Wageningen Univ., Wageningen Univ. and Research Centre (WUR), P.O. Box 8005, 6700 EC, Wageningen, the Netherlands
    b Alterra, WUR, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA, Wageningen, the Netherlands
    c AgResearch, Invermay Agricultural Centre, Private Bag 50034, Mosgiel, New Zealand


Long-term application of phosphorus (P) with animal manure in amounts exceeding removal with crops leads to buildup of P in soil and to increasing risk of P loss to surface water and eutrophication. In most manures, the majority of P is held within inorganic forms, but in soil leachates organic P forms often dominate. We investigated the mobility of both inorganic and organic P in profile samples from a noncalcareous sandy soil treated for 11 yr with excessive amounts of pig slurry, poultry manure, or poultry manure mixed with litter. Solution 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to characterize NaOH-EDTA-extractable forms of P, corresponding to 64 to 93% of the total P concentration in soil. Orthophosphate and orthophosphate monoesters were the main P forms detected in the NaOH-EDTA extracts. A strong accumulation of orthophosphate monoesters was found in the upper layers of the manure-treated soils. For orthophosphate, however, increased concentrations were found down to the 40- to 50-cm soil layers, indicating a strong downward movement of this P form. This was ascribed to the strong retention of orthophosphate monoesters by the solid phase of the soil, preventing orthophosphate sorption and facilitating downward movement of orthophosphate. Alternatively, mineralization of organic P in the upper layers of the manure-treated soils may have generated orthophosphate, which could have contributed to the downward movement of the latter. Leaching of inorganic P should thus be considered for the assessment and the future management of the long-term risk of P loss from soils receiving large amounts of manure.

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