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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Special Submissions: Novel Manure Management Techniques in No-Till and Forage Systems

Influence of Aeration Implements, Phosphorus Fertilizers, and Soil Taxa on Phosphorus Losses from Grasslands


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 2, p. 312-319
    Received: June 29, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): dory.franklin@ars.usda.gov
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  1. D. H. Franklin *a,
  2. D. M. Butlerb,
  3. M. L. Cabrerac,
  4. V. H. Calvertd,
  5. L. T. Weste and
  6. J. A. Remaf
  1. a USDA–ARS, J. Phil Campbell Sr. Natural Resource Conservation Center, 1420 Experiment Station Rd., Watkinsville, GA 30677
    b Plant Sciences, Univ. of Tennessee, 2431 Joe Johnson Dr., Knoxville, TN 37996
    c Crop & Soil Sciences, 3111 Miller Plant Sciences, Athens, GA 30602
    d Central Georgia Research and Education Center, 1508 Godfrey Rd. N.W., Eatonton, GA 31024
    e USDA–NRCS, National Soil Survey Center, 100 Centennial Mall North, Room 152 Lincoln, NE 68508
    f J.A. Rema, Crop & Soil Sciences, 3111 Miller Plant Sciences, Athens, GA 30602. Assigned to Associate Editor Joshua McGrath


Attenuation of rainfall within the solum may help to move contaminants and nutrients into the soil to be better sequestered or utilized by crops. Surface application of phosphorus (P) amendments to grasslands may lead to elevated concentrations of P in surface runoff and eutrophication of surface waters. Aeration of grasslands has been proposed as a treatment to reduce losses of applied P. Here, results from two small-plot aeration studies and two field-scale, paired-watershed studies are supplemented with previously unpublished soil P data and synthesized. The overall objective of these studies was to determine the impact of aeration on soil P, runoff volume, and runoff P losses from mixed tall fescue [Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh.]–bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) grasslands fertilized with P. Small-scale rainfall simulations were conducted on two soil taxa using three types of aeration implements: spikes, disks, and cores. The-field scale study was conducted on four soil taxa with slit and knife aeration. Small-plot studies showed that core aeration reduced loads of total P and dissolved reactive P (DRP) in runoff from plots fertilized with broiler litter and that aeration was effective in reducing P export when it increased soil P in the upper 5 cm. In the field-scale study, slit aeration reduced DRP losses by 35% in fields with well-drained soils but not in poorly drained soils. Flow-weighted concentrations of DRP in aerated fields were related to water-soluble P applied in amendments and soil test P in the upper 5 cm. These studies show that the overall effectiveness of mechanical soil aeration on runoff volume and P losses is controlled by the interaction of soil characteristics such as internal drainage and compaction, soil P, type of surface-applied manure, and type of aeration implement.

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Copyright © 2011. 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