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

Andrew J Margenot, Rolf Sommer, John Mukalama, Sanjai J. Parikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)899-909
Number of pages11
JournalBiology and Fertility of Soils
Volume53
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

Fingerprint

phosphate rock
Oxisol
rock phosphate
Fertilizers
Oxisols
triple superphosphate
superphosphate
Phosphates
fertilizer
fertilizers
Soil
acid phosphatase
soil
microbial biomass
Kandiudox
Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
acid
biomass
liming
Biomass

Keywords

  • Kenya
  • Microbial biomass phosphorus
  • Oxisol
  • Permanganate-oxidizable carbon
  • Phosphatase
  • Phosphate rock
  • Phosphorus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science

Cite this

Biological P cycling is influenced by the form of P fertilizer in an Oxisol. / Margenot, Andrew J; Sommer, Rolf; Mukalama, John; Parikh, Sanjai J.

In: Biology and Fertility of Soils, Vol. 53, No. 8, 01.11.2017, p. 899-909.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Margenot, Andrew J ; Sommer, Rolf ; Mukalama, John ; Parikh, Sanjai J. / Biological P cycling is influenced by the form of P fertilizer in an Oxisol. In: Biology and Fertility of Soils. 2017 ; Vol. 53, No. 8. pp. 899-909.
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AB - 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.

KW - Kenya

KW - Microbial biomass phosphorus

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KW - Phosphatase

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