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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 42 No. 2, p. 464-473
    Received: Aug 21, 2012
    Published: February 11, 2013

    * Corresponding author(s): gerwin.koopmans@wur.nl
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Characterization of Colloidal Phosphorus Species in Drainage Waters from a Clay Soil Using Asymmetric Flow Field-Flow Fractionation

  1. Inge C. Regelinka,
  2. Gerwin F. Koopmans *ab,
  3. Caroline van der Salmb,
  4. Liping Wenga and
  5. Willem H. van Riemsdijka
  1. a Dep. of Soil Quality, Wageningen Univ., P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA, Wageningen, the Netherlands
    b Alterra, Wageningen Univ. and Research Centre, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA, Wageningen, the Netherlands


Phosphorus transport from agricultural land contributes to eutrophication of surface waters. Pipe drain and trench waters from a grassland field on a heavy clay soil in the Netherlands were sampled before and after manure application. Phosphorus speciation was analyzed by physicochemical P fractionation, and the colloidal P fraction in the dissolved fraction (<0.45 μm) was analyzed by asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation (AF4) coupled to high-resolution inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry and ultraviolet diode array detector. When no manure was applied for almost 7 mo, total P (TP) concentrations were low (<21 μmol L−1), and TP was almost evenly distributed among dissolved reactive P (DRP), dissolved unreactive P (DUP), and particulate P (PP). Total P concentrations increased by a factor of 60 and 4 when rainfall followed shortly after application of cattle slurry or its solid fraction, respectively. Under these conditions, DRP contributed 50% or more to TP. The P speciation within the DUP and PP fractions varied among the different sampling times. Phosphorus associated with dissolved organic matter, probably via cation bridging, comprised a small fraction of DUP at all sampling times. Colloidal P coeluted with clay particles when P application was withheld for almost 7 mo and after application of the solid cattle slurry fraction. At these sampling times, PP correlated well with particulate Fe, Al, and Si, indicating that P is associated with colloidal clay particles. After cattle slurry application, part of DUP was probably present as phospholipids. Physicochemical fractionation combined with AF4 analysis is a promising tool to unravel the speciation of colloidal P in environmental water samples.

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Copyright © 2013. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.