Biological P cycling is influenced by the form of P fertilizer in an Oxisol uri icon

abstract

  • Phosphate rock (PR) is an alternative fertilizer to increase the P content of P-deficient weathered soils. We evaluated the effects of fertilizer form on indicators of biological cycling of P using an on-farm trial on a Rhodic Kandiudox in western Kenya. Treatment plots were sampled after 13 cropping seasons of P applications as Minjingu phosphate rock (PR) or as triple super phosphate (?TSP) (50 kg P ha?1 season?1), as well as a P-unfertilized control (0 kg P ha?1 season?1). Soils (0?15 and 15?30 cm) were analyzed for microbial biomass P (Pmic), activities of acid phosphomonoesterase, alkaline phosphomonoesterase, and phosphodiesterase, and sequentially extractable P fractions. P additions as Minjingu PR yielded 299% greater Pmic than TSP at 0?15-cm depth despite similar labile P concentrations in the two P fertilization treatments and stimulated activities of acid phosphomonoesterase (+39%). When added in the soluble form of TSP, a greater percentage of total soil P was present in mineral-bound forms (+33% Fe- and Al-associated P). Higher soil pH under Minjingu PR (pH 5.35) versus TSP (pH 5.02) and the P-unfertilized treatment (pH 4.69) at 0?15-cm depth reflected a liming effect of Minjingu PR. The form of P fertilizer can influence biological P cycling in weathered soils, potentially improving P availability under Minjingu PR relative to TSP via enhanced microbial biomass P and enzymatic drivers of P cycling
  • Phosphate rock (PR) is an alternative fertilizer to increase the P content of P-deficient weathered soils. We evaluated the effects of fertilizer form on indicators of biological cycling of P using an on-farm trial on a Rhodic Kandiudox in western Kenya. Treatment plots were sampled after 13 cropping seasons of P applications as Minjingu phosphate rock (PR) or as triple super phosphate (i >>TSP) (50 kg P ha(-1) season(-1)), as well as a P-unfertilized control (0 kg P ha(-1) season(-1)). Soils (0-15 and 15-30 cm) were analyzed for microbial biomass P (P-mic), activities of acid phosphomonoesterase, alkaline phosphomonoesterase, and phosphodiesterase, and sequentially extractable P fractions. P additions as Minjingu PR yielded 299% greater P-mic than TSP at 0-15-cm depth despite similar labile P concentrations in the two P fertilization treatments and stimulated activities of acid phosphomonoesterase (+39%). When added in the soluble form of TSP, a greater percentage of total soil P was present in mineral-bound forms (+33% Fe- and Al-associated P). Higher soil pH under Minjingu PR (pH 5.35) versus TSP (pH 5.02) and the P-unfertilized treatment (pH 4.69) at 0-15-cm depth reflected a liming effect of Minjingu PR. The form of P fertilizer can influence biological P cycling in weathered soils, potentially improving P availability under Minjingu PR relative to TSP via enhanced microbial biomass P and enzymatic drivers of P cycling.

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2017
  • 2017