Phosphate Reactivity in Long-Term Manure Amended Soils in the Ridge and Valley of Virginia

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Virginia Tech

Phosphorus (P) released in overland flow is related to P form, soil solution P concentration and the release rate of P from soil. Models relating soil test P (STP) to water soluble P (WSP) and the degree of P saturation (DPS) to STP are used in Virginia to estimate P loss potential. Typically the reservoir of biologically available P in eastern soils has been attributed to P sorbed onto surface sites of non-crystalline aluminum (Al) and iron (Fe) oxides, extractable in ammonium oxalate. More recently, soils with a long-term history of manure application have exhibited properties that indicate calcium (Ca) may also be limiting P, especially in soils impacted by poultry manure. Accurate estimation of P loss potential is critical for justification of long-term management approaches. To evaluate the accuracy of model estimation of P loss potential and P source, we evaluated the (i) soil chemical properties, (ii) soil solution equilibria, (iii) inorganic speciation, and (iv) P desorption capacity of soils impacted over a long period of time by poultry litter (broiler and layer), dairy manure and commercial fertilizer applications. Soil chemical properties were measured with various extractions, while soil solution was measured in samples equilibrated at field capacity. Inorganic material was analyzed using scanning electron microscopy with electron dispersive capacities. Phosphorus desorption capacity was determined by calculating the rate of P release into a 0.01 M NaCl batch reactor. Out of the said analysis, we found that Al and Ca were the primary soil chemical elements limiting soil test P extractability and release. Soils with a high P sorbing capacity (PSC), that were not yet saturated, retained the most total soil P over a 60 hr. batch release experiment. Phase diagrams show that all soils were supersaturated with respect to common Al-, and Fe â P minerals. Saturation indices calculated with Visual Minteq were correlated with the degree of P saturation, and suggested that as the DPS increased, formation of less soluble Ca -P minerals occurs. The soils found to be supersaturated with respect to tri-calcium phosphate (TCP) and octa-calcium (OCP) had the highest P release rate coefficients for both the first (k1) and second (k2) phases of release. Scanning electron microscopy with electron dispersive analysis (SEM-EDS) found that for some manure impacted soils, Al formed associations with P that are stable over a large soil to solution ratio. Additionally, it appears that as non-crystalline Al becomes saturated with P, Ca-P forms may act as an additional reservoir of P in soils with a long-term history of poultry manure application.

poultry manure, mineralogy, Water quality, nutrients, eutrophication, calcium phosphates, long-term application, soil chemistry, Phosphorus