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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Potential phosphorus leaching from sandy topsoils with different fertilizer histories before and after application of pig slurry

Liu, Jian; Aronsson, Helena; Ulen, Barbro; Bergström, Lars


This study investigated the effects of historical long-term and recent single applications of pig slurry on P leaching from intact columns of two sandy topsoils (Mellby and Böslid). The soils had similar physical properties, but different soil P status (ammonium lactate-extractable P; P-AL) and degree of P saturation (DPS-AL). Mellby had P-AL of 220-280 mg kg-1 and DPS-AL of 32-42%, which was higher than for Böslid (P-AL 140 mg kg-1 and DPS 21%). The study investigated the effects since 1983 of four treatments with different fertilizer histories, in summary high (HighSlurryMellby) and low (LowSlurryMellby) rates of pig slurry and mineral P (MinMellby) applications at Mellby and mineral P application at Böslid (MinBöslid). The columns were irrigated in the laboratory five times before and five times after a single application of pig slurry (22 kg P ha-1). Concentrations of dissolved reactive P (DRP), dissolved organic P and total-P (TP) in leachate and loads were significantly higher (p <0.005) from the treatments at Mellby than those at Böslid. TP concentrations followed the trend: HighSlurryMellby (0.57-0.59 mg L-1) > MinMellby (0.41-0.49 mg L-1) > LowSlurryMellby (0.31-0.36 mg L-1) > MinBöslid (0.14-0.15 mg L-1), both before and after the single slurry application. DRP concentrations in leachate were positively correlated with DPS-AL values in the topsoil (R2=0.95, p<0.0001), and increased with greater DPS-AL values after the single slurry application (R2=0.79, p<0.0001). Thus, DPS-AL can be an appropriate indicator of P leaching risk from sandy soils. Moreover, the build-up of soil P due to long-term repeated manure applications seems to be more important for potential P losses than a single manure application.

Published in

Soil Use and Management
2012, Volume: 28, number: 4, pages: 457-467