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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Past, present, and future use of phosphorus in Chinese agriculture and its influence on phosphorus losses

Li, Haigang; Liu, Jian; Li, Guohua; Shen, Jianbo; Bergström, Lars; Zhang, Fusuo


Large inputs of phosphorus (P) in chemical fertilizers and feed supplements since 1978 have improved soil P status in arable land in China, but have also created challenges by increasing P concentrations in manure and exacerbating water quality degradation. Arable land in China can be divided into five management zones based on soil P chemistry, with 15-92 % of arable land having lower P status than the agronomic optimum and 0.3-7.2 % having severe risks of P leaching losses. A scenario analysis of soil P budget and agronomic P demand during 2011-2030 highlighted the great pressure China faces in sustainable P management and the need for drastic changes in current practices. This includes new policies to reduce P supplementation of feed and improved P use efficiency by livestock and programs to expand the adoption of appropriate fertilization, soil conservation, and drainage management practices to minimize P losses.


Phosphorus management zone; Olsen P; Environment; Crop yield; Phosphorus loss

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2015, Volume: 44, number: Suppl 2, pages: S274-S285
Publisher: SPRINGER

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Life on land
    SDG2 Zero hunger

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
    Soil Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)