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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Surface Water Quality

Phytoextraction of Phosphorus-Enriched Grassland Soils


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 38 No. 2, p. 751-761
    Received: Feb 7, 2008

    * Corresponding author(s): caroline.vandersalm@wur.nl
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  1. Caroline van der Salm *a,
  2. Wim J. Chardona,
  3. Gerwin F. Koopmansa,
  4. Jantine C. van Middelkoopb and
  5. Phillip A.I. Ehlerta
  1. a Wageningen Univ. and Research Centre, Alterra, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, the Netherlands
    b Wageningen Univ. and Research Centre, Animal Sciences Group, P.O. Box 65, 8200 AB Lelystad, the Netherlands


High soil P contents in agricultural soils in the Netherlands cause excessive losses of P to surface waters. The reductions in P application rates in the present manure policy are not sufficient to reach surface water quality standards resulting from the European Water Framework Directive in 2015. Accordingly, additional measures are necessary to reduce P loading to surface water. Greenhouse experiments showed that a rapid reduction in soluble P and readily available soil P can be obtained by zero P application. However, field data confirming these findings are scarce. In 2002 a phytoextraction experiment started on four grasslands sites on sand, peat, and clay soils. The phytoextraction (mining) plots receive no P and 300 kg N ha−1 yr−1 and the grass is removed by mowing. The experiment showed that zero P application, over a period of 5 yr, led to a strong (30–90%) reduction in P concentrations in soil solution in the upper soil layer (0–0.05 m). The reduction in concentrations declined with depth. Mining also resulted in a decline in P pools in the soil solid phase. The largest decline (10–60%) was found in weakly bound P pools (water extractable P; Pw, and ammonium lactate extractable P; P-AL), whereas reductions in more strongly bound P forms were relatively small. It may be concluded that phytoextraction appears an effective method of reducing soil P concentrations in the uppermost soil layers in a couple of years and prolonged mining may thus be effective in reducing leaching and runoff of P.

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Copyright © 2009. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyAmerican Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America