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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Anaerobic Respiration in the Unsaturated Zone of Agricultural Soil Mobilizes Phosphorus and Manganese

Warrinnier, Ruben; Bossuyt, Sara; Resseguier, Camille; Cambier, Philippe; Houot, Sabine; Gustafsson, Jon Petter; Diels, Jan; Smolders, Erik


Anaerobic conditions mobilize phosphorus (P) in soils and sediments. The role of anaerobic microsites in well-drained soil on P migration is unknown. This study aimed to identify mechanisms that control field-scale vertical P mobility as affected by organic fertilizers that may trigger variable redox conditions. Soils were sampled at different depths in a well-drained Luvisol after 19 years of application of organic fertilizers. The concentrations of P and manganese (Mn) in 0.45-mu m-filtered extracts (10(-3) M CaCl2) of field-moist soil samples were strongly correlated (r = + 0.95), and both peaked in and below the compacted plough pan, suggesting that reductive processes mobilize P. Waterlogged soil incubations confirmed that anaerobic respiration comobilizes Mn and P and that this leads to the release of colloidal P and iron (Fe). The long-term applications of farmyard manure and immature compost enhanced the concentrations of Mn, Fe, and aluminum (Al) in the soil solution of subsurface samples, whereas less such effect was found under the application of more stable organic fertilizers. Farmyard manure application significantly enhanced soil P stocks below the plough layer despite a small P input. Overall, multiple lines of evidence confirm that anaerobic respiration, sparked by labile organic matter, mobilizes P in this seemingly well-drained soil.

Published in

Environmental Science and Technology
2020, Volume: 54, number: 8, pages: 4922-4931

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Soil Science

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