Inorganic and organic phosphorus pools in earthworm casts (Glossoscolecidae) and a Brazilian rainforest Oxisol uri icon

abstract

  • We compared differences in soil phosphorus fractions between large earthworm casts (Family Glossoscolecidae) and surrounding soils, i.e., Oxisols in 10 year-old upland agroforestry system (AGR), pasture (PAS), and secondary forest (SEC) in the Central Brazilian Amazon. AGR and PAS both received low-input fertilization and SEC received no fertilization. We found that earthworm casts had higher levels of organic hydroxide P than surrounding soils, whereas fertilization increased inorganic hydroxide P. Inorganic P was increased by fertilization, and organic P was increased by earthworm gut passage and/or selection of ingested materials, which increased available P (sum of resin and bicarbonate fractions) and moderately available P (sum of hydroxide and dilute acid fractions), and P fertilizer application and land-use increased available P. The use of a modified sequential P fractionation produced fewer differences between earthworm casts and soils than were expected. We suggest the use of a condensed extraction procedure with three fractions (Available P, Moderately Available P, and Resistant P) that provide an ecologically based understanding of the P availability in soil. Earthworm casts were estimated to constitute 41.0, 38.2, and 26.0 kg ha(-1) of total available P stocks (sum of resin and bicarbonate fractions) in the agroforestry system, pasture, and secondary forest, respectively. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

publication date

  • 2006
  • 2006