Nitrogen Species Specific Phosphorus Mineralization in Temperate Floodplain Soils

Mary R. Arenberg, Yuji Arai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As an essential component of enzymes, higher N availability from agricultural runoff to forest soils may boost the activity of phosphatase, increasing the bioavailability of phosphate. The objective of this study was to evaluate P mineralization rates in temperate floodplain soils as a function of inorganic N species (i.e., ammonium and nitrate) and amendment rate (1.5–3.5 g N kg−1). Accordingly, the soil was amended with nitrate and ammonium, and P dynamics were monitored during a 40-day incubation. The addition of ammonium significantly boosted acid and alkaline phosphatase activity by 1.39 and 1.44 µmol p-nitrophenol P (pNP) g−1 h−1, respectively. The degree of increase was positively correlated with the amendment rate. Likewise, the P mineralization rate increased by 0.27 mg P kg−1 in the 3.5 g N kg−1 ammonium treatment. 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic analysis further supported the reduction in organic orthophosphate diesters on day 30. Meanwhile, the addition of nitrate promoted P mineralization to a lesser degree but did not increase phosphatase activity. While floodplain soils have great potential to sequester anthropogenic P, high availability of inorganic N, especially ammonium, could promote P mineralization, potentially increasing P fertility and/or reducing P the sequestration capacity of floodplain soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17430
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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