Current uncertainties in assessing the colloidal phosphorus loss from soil

Ai Chen, Yuji Arai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Excessive phosphorus (P) loss from soil to water bodies is known to cause negative impacts in the aquatic ecosystem. Along with dissolved reactive P, colloidal P has been of the interest in the agroecosystem research because of its mobility in surface runoff and subsurface flow in soil. The physicochemical characteristics (i.e., high adsorption capacity and low density) of soil colloids can accelerate the migration of P and its mass. Numerous investigations have reported the occurrence of the release of colloidal P from arable and forest soils. While these studies showed clear evidence of colloidal P in soils, it is difficult to single out a factor influencing the release/formation of colloidal P because of variability in experimental designs, methods, and study sites: (1) land and nutrient management, (2) soil type, (3) climate or irrigation, (4) fractionation methods (e.g., filtration, centrifugation) and (5) experimental designs to isolate colloidal P (e.g., soil extract, column leachate, simulated runoff). This review chapter summarizes the current knowledge of colloidal P in soils, and discuss uncertainties in assessing the colloidal P loss from various soil systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Agronomy
EditorsDonald L. Sparks
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages35
ISBN (Print)9780128207697
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Agronomy
ISSN (Print)0065-2113


  • Colloid
  • Factor
  • Formation
  • P
  • P Loss
  • Phosphorus
  • Size
  • Soil
  • Speciation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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