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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - DIVISION S-4-SOIL FERTILITY & PLANT NUTRITION

Lime-Induced Changes in Indices of Soil Phosphate Availability


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 65 No. 1, p. 147-152
    Received: Nov 15, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): keiths@ncl.ac.uk
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  1. D. Curtina and
  2. J.K. Syers *b
  1. a New Zealand Institute for Crop and Food Research Limited, Private Bag 4704, Christchurch, New Zealand
    b Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand


Increases in soil P availability due to liming have been reported in a number of glasshouse and field trials, but the mechanism responsible for this effect has not been identified definitely. In a laboratory study, we examined the effects of lime on labile P fractions in six New Zealand soils that varied in P-retention capacity. The soils (5.1–5.5 initial pH in water) were incubated with four rates of CaCO3 to raise pH incrementally to a maximum of ≈6.5. Subsequently, P (as KH2PO4) was applied to give three P levels in each soil. Liming generally decreased Olsen bicarbonate values, with the effect being largest at the highest rate of P addition. Averaged across P treatments, the decrease in Olsen P for a unit increase in pH ranged from 3 to 7 mg kg−1 Liming also tended to depress water-extractable P. Decreases in extractable P suggest that liming increased phosphate adsorption. When data for the lime and P treatments were combined, water-extractable P and Olsen P were well correlated, although each soil showed a different relationship. Phosphate-retention capacity appeared to have a strong influence on the relationship between water-extractable P and Olsen P, with the high P retention soils having relatively low proportions of water-extractable P. When exchangeable cations were replaced with Na, soils that had been limed released significantly more P to distilled water than their unlimed counterparts. The results confirm that the nature of the exchangeable cation suite has a major influence on the pH-dependence of the phosphate adsorption–desorption equilibrium. In limed soil, exchangeable Ca and pH increase simultaneously so that shifts in this equilibrium may be small and unpredictable.

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Copyright © 2001. Soil Science SocietyPublished in Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.65:147–152.