Advertisement

Plant and Soil

, Volume 401, Issue 1–2, pp 135–149 | Cite as

Modelling the optimal phosphate fertiliser and soil management strategy for crops

  • J. HeppellEmail author
  • S. Payvandi
  • P. Talboys
  • K. C. Zygalakis
  • J. Fliege
  • D. Langton
  • R. Sylvester-Bradley
  • R. Walker
  • D. L. Jones
  • T. Roose
Regular Article

Abstract

Aims

The readily available global rock phosphate (P) reserves may be depleted within the next 50–130 years warranting careful use of this finite resource. We develop a model that allows us to assess a range of P fertiliser and soil management strategies for Barley in order to find which one maximises plant P uptake under certain climate conditions.

Methods

Our model describes the development of the P and water profiles within the soil. Current cultivation techniques such as ploughing and reduced till gradient are simulated along with fertiliser options to feed the top soil or the soil right below the seed.

Results

Our model was able to fit data from two barley field trials, achieving a good fit at early growth stages but a poor fit at late growth stages, where the model underestimated plant P uptake. A well-mixed soil (inverted and 25 cm ploughing) is important for optimal plant P uptake and provides the best environment for the root system.

Conclusions

The model is sensitive to the initial state of P and its distribution within the soil profile; experimental parameters which are sparsely measured. The combination of modelling and experimental data provides useful agricultural predictions for site specific locations.

Keywords

Mathematical modelling Phosphate Fertiliser strategy Barley field study Soil buffer power 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the BBSRC and DEFRA (BB/I024283/1) for funding S.P. and The Royal Society University Research Fellowship for funding T.R. K.C.Z. was partially funded by Award No. KUK-C1-013-04 of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST); J.F. by EPSRC and CORMSIS; J.H. by EPSRC Complexity DTC; and S.P., P.T., D.L., R.S-B., R.W., D.L.J. and T.R. by DEFRA, BBSRC, Scottish Government, AHDB, and other industry partners through Sustainable Arable LINK Project LK09136.

References

  1. Barber S (1984) Soil nutrient bioavailability: a mechanistic approach. Wiley-InterscienceGoogle Scholar
  2. Beven K (1979) A sensitivity analysis of the Penman-Monteith actual evapotranspiration estimates. J Hydrol 44(3–4):169–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bhadoria P, Kaselowsky J, Claassen N, Jungk A (1991) Soil phosphate diffusion coefficients: their dependence on phosphorus concentration and buffer power. Soil Sci Am J 55(1):56–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bolland M, Baker M (1998) Phosphate applied to soil increases the effectiveness of subsequent applications of phosphate for growing wheat shoots. Aust J Exp Agric 38(8):865–869CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Borda T, Celi L, Zavattaro L, Sacco D, Barberis E (2011) Effect of agronomic management on risk of suspended solids and phosphorus losses from soil waters. J Soils Sediments 11(3):440–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Broad H (1987) The decimal code for the growth stages of cereals, with illustrations. Ann Appl Biol 110:441–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bucher M (2007) Functional biology of plant phosphate uptake at root and mycorrhiza interfaces. New Phytol 173(1):11–26CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen Y, Dunbabin V, Postma J, Diggle A, Siddique K, Rengel Z (2013) Modelling root plasticity and responce of narrow-leafed lupin to heterogeneous phosphorus supply. Plant Soil 372(1–2):319–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clarke D, Smith M, El-askari K (1998) New software for crop water requirements and irrigation scheduling. ICID Bull Int Comm Irrig Drain 47(2):45–48Google Scholar
  10. Cordell D, Drangert J, White S (2009) The story of phosphorus: global food security and food for thought. Glob Environ Chang 19(2):292–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) (2010) Fertiliser manual (RB209). The Stationery Office. ISBN 978 0 11 243286 9.Google Scholar
  12. Déry P, Anderson B (2007) Peak phosphorus. In: Energy Bulletin, 08/13/2007. Post Carbon Institute. Available: energubulletin.net/node/33164
  13. Dunbabin V, Postma J, Schnepf A, Pages L, Javaux M, Wu L, Leitner D, Chen Y, Rengel Z, Diggle A (2013) Modelling root-soil interactions using three-dimensional models of root growth, architecture and function. Plant Soil 372(1–2):93–124. doi: 10.1007/s11104-013-1769-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dungait J, Cardenas L, Blackwell M, Wu L, Wither P, Whitmore A, Murray P, Chadwick D, Bol R, Macdonald A, Goulding K (2012) Advances in the understanding of nutrient dynamics and management in UK agriculture. Sci Total Environ 434:39–50CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Ge Z, Rubio G, Lynch J (2000) The importance of root gravitropism for inter-root competition and phosphorus acquisition efficiency: results from a geometric simulation model. Plant Soil 218(1–2):159–171CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Grant R, Robertson J (1997) Phosphorus uptake by root systems: mathematical modelling in ecosys. Plant Soil 118(2):279–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hartikainen H, Rasa K, Withers P (2010) Phosphorus exchange properties of European soils and sediments derived from them. Eur J Soil Sci 61(6):1033–1042CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Heppell J, Payvandi S, Zygalakis K, Smethurst J, Fliege J, Roose T (2014) Validation of a spatial-temporal soil water movement and plant water uptake model. Geotechnique 64(7):526–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Heppell J, Talboys P, Payvandi S, Zygalakis K, Fliege J, Withers P, Jones D, Roose T (2015) How changing root system architecture can help tackle a reduction in soil phosphate (P) levels for better plant P acquisition. Plant Cell Environ 38:118–128CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Hooda P, Truesdale V, Edwards A, Withers P, Aitken M, Miller A, Rendell A (2001) Manuring and fertilization effects on phosphorus accumulation in soils and potential environmental implications. Adv Environ Res 5(1):13–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jeuffroy M, Vocanson A, Roger-Estrade J, Meynard J (2012) The use of models at field and farm levels for the ex ante assessment of new pea genotypes. Eur J Agron 42(October):68–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jobbágy E, Jackson R (2001) The distribution of soil nutrients with depth: global patterns and the imprints of plants. Biogeochemistry 53(1):51–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Johnson J, Fixen P, Poulton P (2014) The efficient use of phosphorus in agriculture. Better Crops 98(4):22–24Google Scholar
  24. Jordan-Meille L, RubӔk G, Ehlert P, Genot V, Hofman G, Goulding K, Recknagel J, Provolo G, Barraclough P (2012) An overview of fertilizer – P recommendations in Europe: soil testing, calibration and fertilizer recommendations. Soil Use Manag 28(4):419–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kamprath E, Beegle D, Fixen P, Hodges S, Joern B, Mallarino A, Miller R, Sims J, Ward R, Wolf A (2000) Relevance of Soil Testing to Agriculture and the Environment. Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. Issue paper, No. 15Google Scholar
  26. Kutschera L, Lichtenegger E, Sobotik M (2009) Wurzelatlas der kulturpflanzen gemabigter Gebiete mit Arten des Feldemusebaues. DLG-Verlag 201–229. ISBN: 978-3-7690-0708-4Google Scholar
  27. Lalor S, Wall D, Plunkett M (2013) Maintaining optimum soil fertility – focus on offtake. Proceedings of Spring Scientific Meeting 2013, The fertilizer association of Ireland. No. 48Google Scholar
  28. Leitner D, Klepsch S, Bodner G, Schnepf A (2010) A dynamic root system growth model based on L-systems. Tropisms and coupling to nutrient uptake from soil. Plant Soil 332(1–2):117–192Google Scholar
  29. Li H, Zhu Y, Marschner P, Smith F, Smith S (2005) Wheat responses to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in a highly calcareous soil differ from those of clover, and change with plant development and P supply. Plant Soil 277:221–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lynch J, Brown K (2001) Topsoil foraging – an architectural adaptation of plants to low phosphorus availability. Plant Soil 237(2):225–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lynch J, Nielsen K, Davis R, Jablokow A (1997) SimRoot: modelling and visualization of root systems. Plant Soil 188(1):139–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mahler R (2001) Fertilizer Placement. CIS 757. Soil Scientist, Department of plant, Soil, and Entomological Sciences, University of IdohaGoogle Scholar
  33. Moody P (2007) Interpretation of a single-point P buffering index for adjusting critical levels of the Colwell soil P test. Soil Res 45(1):55–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Murphy T, Riley J (1962) A modified single solution method for the determination of phosphate in natural waters. Anal Chim Acta 27:31–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Neyroud J, Lischer P (2002) Do different methods used to estimate soil phosphorus availability across Europe give comparable results? J Plants Nutr Soil Sci 166(4):422–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nye P, Tinker P (1977) Solute movement in the soil-root system. Blackwell science publishersGoogle Scholar
  37. Okajima H, Kubota H, Sakuma T (1983) Hysteresis in the phosphorus sorption and desorption processes of soils. Soil Sci Plants Nutr 29(3):271–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Owusu-Gyimah V, Nyatuame M, Ampiaw F, Ampadu P (2013) Effect of depth and placement distance of fertilizer NPK 15-15-15 on the performance and yield of maize plant. Int J Agron Plants Prod 4(12):3197–3204Google Scholar
  39. Randall G, Hoeft R (1988) Placement methods for improved efficiency of P and K fertilizers: a review. J Prod Agric 1(1):70–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Reijneveld J, Ehlert P, Termorshuizen A, Oenema O (2010) Changes in the soil phosphorus status of agricultural land in the Netherlands during the 20th century. Soil Use Manag 26(4):399–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Roose T, Fowler A (2004a) A model for water uptake by plant roots. J Theor Biol 288(2):155–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Roose T, Fowler A (2004b) A mathematical model for water and nutrient uptake by plant root systems. J Theor Biol 288(2):173–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Roose T, Schnepf A (2008) Mathematical models of plant-soil interaction. Philos Transact A Math Phys Eng Sci 366(1885):4597–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Roose T, Fowler A, Darrah P (2001) A mathematical model of plant nutrient uptake. Math Biol 42(4):347–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Selmants P, Hart S (2010) Phosphorus and soil development: does the Walker and Syers model apply to semiarid ecosystems? Ecology 91(2):474–484CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Soil survey of Scotland Staff (1981) Soil maps of Scotland at a scale of 1:250 000. Macaulay Institute for Soil Research, AberdeenGoogle Scholar
  47. Stutter M, Shand C, George T, Blackwell M, Bol R, Mackay R, Richardson A, Condron L, Turner B, Haygrath P (2012) Recovering phosphorus from soil – A root solution? Environ Sci Technol 46(4):1997–1978CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sultenfuss J, Doyle W (1999) Better crops with plant food. Phosphorus fertiliser placement. Publ Int Plants Nutr Inst (IPNI) 83(1):34–39Google Scholar
  49. Sylvester-Bradley R, Scott R, Clare R (1997) The wheat growth guide. London: Home Grown Cereals Authority, http://www.hgca.com/media/185687/g39-the-wheat-growth-guide.pdf, last accessed 12/09/2014
  50. Tandy S, Mundus S, Yngvesson J, de Bang T, Lombi E, Schjoerring J, Husted S (2011) The use of DGT for prediction of plant available copper, zinc and phosphorus in agricultural soils. Plant Soil 346(1–2):167–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tuzet A, Perrier A, Leuning R (2003) A coupled model of stomatal conductance, photosynthesis and transpiration. Plant Cell Environ 26(7):1097–1116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Vaccari D (2009) Phosphorus: a looming crisis. Sci Am 300(6):54–49CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Van Genuchten M (1980) A closed-form equation for predicting the hydraulic conductivity of unsaturated soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 44(5):892–898CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Van Rees K, Comerford N, Rao P (1990) Defining soil buffer power: implications for ion diffusion and nutrient uptake modelling. Soil Sci Soc Am J 54(5):1505–1507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Van Rotterdam A, Temminghoff E, Schenkeveld W, Hiemstra T, Riemsdijk W (2009) Phosphorus removal from soil using Fe oxide-impregnated paper: processes and applications. Geoderma 151(3–4):282–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Van Rotterdam A, Bussink D, Reijneveld J (2014) Improved Phosphorus Fertilisation Based on Better Prediction of Availability in Soil. International Fertiliser Soceity, Proceeding 755, ISBN 978-0-85310-392-9Google Scholar
  57. Vu D, Tang C, Armstrong R (2009) Tillage system affects phosphorus form and depth distribution in three contrasting Victorian soils. Aust J Soil Res 47(1):33–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Withers P, Sylvester-Bradley R, Jones D, Healey J, Talboys P (2014) Feed the crop not the soil: rethinking phosphorus management in the food chain. Environ Sci Technol 48(12):6523–6530CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Yang X, Post W, Thornton P, Jain A (2013) The distribution of soil phosphorus for global biogeochemical modeling. Biogeosci Discuss 9(11):16347–16380CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Complex Systems SimulationUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.Faculty of Engineering and the EnvironmentUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  3. 3.School of MathematicsUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  4. 4.CORMSISUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  5. 5.IFLS Crop Systems EngineeringUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  6. 6.School of Environment, Natural Resources and GeographyUniversity of BangorBangorUK
  7. 7.AgriiPerthUK
  8. 8.ADAS BoxworthCambridgeUK
  9. 9.Scotland’s Rural CollegeAberdeenUK

Personalised recommendations