, Volume 144, Issue 2, pp 155-165

Seasonal variation in organic and inorganic phosphorus fractions of temperate-climate sandy soils

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Soils from an arable plot, a grassland plot and pasture plot were sampled over an 18-month period. Inorganic (Pi) and organic (Po) soil phosphorus fractions were extracted sequentially with resin, NaHCO3, and NaOH. Soil solution was sampled on the arable plot and pasture plot during 12 months with teflon suction cups, and the contents of Pi and Po were determined.

The patterns of the variation for all soil fractions were similar for the three plots. All soil Pi fractions were at minimum in the cool moist winter period. The soil Po fractions varied less systematically than Pi fractions. The sum of Po fractions had a winter maximum and a spring minimum. For all soil P fractions temporal variation was highly significant (p<0.0001). The magnitude of change in Pi and Po soil fractions was 4–40 times greater than what would be expected from the magnitude of new N mineralization.

The content of P in the inorganic soil P fractions was negatively correlated with soil moisture. The variation in organic soil P could not be explained by any single factor, but it is suggested that the variation is caused by changes in solubility rather than by biological transformations. Thus, physicochemical processes masked the impact of biological transformations on the temporal variation of soil phosphorus fractions.

Both soil solution Pi and Po varied significantly with time on field scale. In contrast to soil Pi fractions, solution Pi was initially low in the early autumn, increased by a factor 4 during the following 6 weeks, and thereafter decreased to a low level by the end of the sampling period. Soil solution Po had several fluctuations during the sampling period.