Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Polyphosphate fertilizers increased maize (Zea mays L.) P, Fe, Zn, and Mn uptake by decreasing P fixation and mobilizing microelements in calcareous soil

  • Yanju Gao
  • Xuewei Wang
  • Jawad Ali Shah
  • Guixin ChuEmail author
Soils, Sec 1 • Soil Organic Matter Dynamics and Nutrient Cycling • Research Article



Polyphosphate (Poly-P) is an alternative source of phosphate (P) fertilizer. However, as a condensed P, the effects of different polymerization content of poly-P on crop P nutrition status are often inconsistent. The aims of this study are to explore the transformation of fraction and the fate of poly-P in calcareous soils with ammonium polyphosphate (APP) of different polymerization content as P resource that reveal the effects of different polymerization content of poly-P fertilizer on maize growth (Zea mays L.), soil available P, Fe, Zn, and Mn, and soil inorganic P transformation.

Materials and methods

A pot experiment was carried out with four treatments: (і) no phosphate fertilizer (control); (іі) mono-ammonium phosphate (MAP); (ііі) APP with averaging polymerization degrees of 3 and poly-P/total-P of 70% (APP-3-70%); (іv) APP with averaging polymerization degrees of 3.8 and poly-P/total-P of 90% (APP-3.8-90%). Concentrations of soil available Fe, Zn, and Mn were determined by inductively coupled plasma-atomic absorption spectroscopy procedure. Soil inorganic P species were determined by sequential extraction method.

Results and discussion

Compared with the MAP treatment, soil available P, Fe, and Zn concentrations significantly increased by 22.7%, 6.5%, and 16.7% respectively, in the APP-3.8-90% treatment. Soil labile P forms of resin-P, NaHCO3-P and NaOH-P in the APP-3.8-90% treatment were 91.6%, 24.4% and 27.6% higher, respectively, relative to the MAP treatment, while soil HCl-P concentration was decreased by 7.2%, accordingly. Maize seedling total dry weight (shoot plus root) in the APP-3.8-90% treatment was 42.4% higher than in the MAP treatment. In addition, the APP-3.8-90% treatment is more pronounced than the APP-3-70% treatment in increasing soil available P and Fe, Mn, and Zn.


Poly-P application exhibited obvious advantages in increasing soil P availability and mobilizing soil micronutrients. Specially, appropriately increasing the polymerization content of poly-P is beneficial to play a better role. Hence, it could be recommended as a promising source of P fertilizer substituting orthophosphate (ortho-P) fertilizers.


Ammonium polyphosphate Available P Dry weight Fe Resin-P Mn concentrations 



This work was jointly supported by the Scientific Development and Technology Innovation Project of Xinjiang Production and Construction Group (2017BA041) and the Shenzhen Batian Ecological Engineering Co., Ltd.


  1. Alotaibi KD, Schoenau JJ, Fonstad T (2013) Possible utilization of ash from meat and bone meal and dried distillers grains gasification as a phosphorus fertilizer: crop growth response and changes in soil chemical properties. J Soils Sediments 13:1024–1031Google Scholar
  2. Alotaibi KD, Schoenau JJ, Kar G, Peak D, Fonstad T (2018) Phosphorus speciation in a prairie soil amended with MBM and DDG ash: sequential chemical extraction and synchrotron-based XANES spectroscopy investigations. Sci Rep 8:3617Google Scholar
  3. Aulakh MS, Kabba BS, Baddesha HS, Bahl GS, Gill MPS (2003) Crop yields and phosphorus fertilizer transformations after 25 years of applications to a subtropical soil under groundnut-based cropping systems. Field Crop Res 83:283–296Google Scholar
  4. Blanchar RW, Hossner LR (1969) Hydrolysis and sorption of ortho-, pyro-, tripoly-, and trimetaphosphate in 32 Midwestern soils. J Soil Sci Soc Am Proc 33:622–625Google Scholar
  5. Busman LM, Tabatabai MA (1985) Hydrolysis of trimetaphosphate in soil. J Soil Sci Soc Am 49:630–636Google Scholar
  6. Celi L, Lamacchia S, Barberis E (2000) Interaction of inositol phosphate with calcite. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 57:271–277Google Scholar
  7. Cichy B, Folek S (2005) Utilization of complexing abilities of polyphosphates in liquid fertilizers, based on the example of fertilizer type NP and type NPK with zinc. J Ind Eng Chem Res 44:4513–4517Google Scholar
  8. Dick RP, Tabatabai MA (1987a) Polyphosphosphates as P sources for plants. J Fert Res 12:107–118Google Scholar
  9. Dick RP, Tabatabai MA (1987b) Factors affecting hydrolysis of polyphosphates in soils. J Soil Sci 143:97–104Google Scholar
  10. Dinkelaker B, Romheld V, Marschner H (1989) Citric acid excretion and precipitation of calcium citrate in the rhizosphere of white lupin (Lupinus albus L.). J Plant Cell Environ 12:285–292Google Scholar
  11. El-Sayed SAM (2015) Ammonium polyphosphate and ammonium orthophosphate as sources of phosphorus for Jerusalem artichoke. Alexandria Sci Exch J 36:47–57Google Scholar
  12. Guppy CN, Menzies NW, Moody PW, Compton BL, Blamey FPC (2000) A simplified sequential, phosphorus fractionation method. J Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 31:1981–1991Google Scholar
  13. Hamilton JG, Hilger D, Peak D (2017) Mechanisms of tripolyphosphate adsorption and hydrolysis on goethite. J Colloid Interface Sci 491:190–198Google Scholar
  14. Hamilton JG, Grosskleg J, Hilger D, Bradshaw K, Carlson T, Siciliano SD, Peak D (2018) Chemical speciation and fate of tripolyphosphate after application to a calcareous soil. Geochem Trans 19:1Google Scholar
  15. Hedley M, McLaughlin M (2005) Reactions of phosphate fertilizers and by-products in soils. In: Sims JT, Sharpley AN (eds) Phosphorus: agriculture and the environment. vol phosphorusagric. J Am Soc Agron, pp 181–252Google Scholar
  16. Helfenstein J, von Tamburini F, Sperber C, Massey MS, Pistocchi C, Chadwick OA, Vitousek PM, Kretzschmar R, Frossard E (2018) Combining spectroscopic and isotopic techniques gives a dynamic view of phosphorus cycling in soil. Nat Commun 9:3226Google Scholar
  17. Holloway RE, Bertrand I, Frischke J, Brace DM, Mclaughlin MJ, Shepperd W (2001) Improving fertiliser efficiency on calcareous and alkaline soils with fluid sources of P, N and Zn. Plant Soil 236:209–219Google Scholar
  18. Holmgren GGS (1967) A rapid citrate-dithionite extractable iron procedure. Soil Sci Soc Am Proc 31:210–211Google Scholar
  19. Hughes JD, Hashimoto I (1971) Triammonium pyrophosphate as a source of phosphorus for plants. Soil Sci Soc Am J 35:643–647Google Scholar
  20. Jain SC, Kushwaha SS (1993) Effect of ammonium poly-phosphate on the yield of soy bean (Glycine max L.). Indian J Agron 38:33–36Google Scholar
  21. Khasawneh FE, Sample EC, Hashimoto I (1974) Reactions of ammonium ortho- and polyphosphate fertilizers in soil: I. Mobility of phosphorus 1. Soil Sci Soc Am J 38:446–451Google Scholar
  22. Khasawneh FE, Hashimoto I, Sample EC (1979) Reactions of ammonium ortho- and polyphosphate fertilizers in soil: II. Hydrolysis and reactions with soil 1. Soil Sci Soc Am J 43:52–58Google Scholar
  23. Kulakovskaya TV, Vagabov VM, Kulaev IS (2012) Inorganic polyphosphate in industry, agriculture and medicine: modern state and outlook. J Process Biochem 47:1–10Google Scholar
  24. Lombi E, McLaughlin MJ, Johnston C, Armstrong RD, Holloway RE (2004) Mobility and lability of phosphorus from granular and fluid monoammonium phosphate differs in a calcareous soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 68:682–689Google Scholar
  25. Lombi E, McLaughlin MJ, Johnston C, Armstrong RD, Holloway RE (2005) Mobility, solubility and lability of fluid and granular forms of P fertilizer in calcareous and non-calcareous soils under laboratory conditions. Plant Soil 269:25–34Google Scholar
  26. Martin AE, Reeve R (1955) A rapid manometric method for determining soil carbonate. Soil Sci 79:187–198Google Scholar
  27. McBeath TM, Armstrong RD, Lombi E, McLaughlin MJ, Holloway RE (2005) Responsiveness of wheat (Triticum aestivum) to liquid and granular phosphorus fertilisers in southern Australian soils. Aust J Soil Res 43:203–212Google Scholar
  28. McBeath TM, Smernik RJ, Lombi E, McLaughlin MJ (2006) Hydrolysis of pyrophosphate in a highly calcareous soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 70:856–862Google Scholar
  29. McBeath TM, Lombi E, McLaughlin MJ, Bünemann EK (2007) Polyphosphate-fertilizer solution stability with time, temperature, and pH. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 170:387–391Google Scholar
  30. McLaughlin MJ, McBeath TM, Smernik R, Stacey SP, Ajiboye B, Guppy C (2011) The chemical nature of P accumulation in agricultural soils-implications for fertilizer management and design: an Australian perspective. Plant Soil 349:69–87Google Scholar
  31. Montalvo D, Degryse F, McLaughlin MJ (2014) Fluid fertilizers improve phosphorus diffusion but not lability in Andisols and Oxisols. Soil Sci Soc Am J 78:214–224Google Scholar
  32. Murphy J, Riley JP (1962) A modified single solution method for the determination of phosphate in natural waters. Anal Chim Acta 27:3–36Google Scholar
  33. Neset TSS, Bader HP, Scheidegger R, Lohm U (2008) The flow of phosphorus in food production and consumption - Linköping, Sweden, 1870-2000. Sci Total Environ 396:111–120Google Scholar
  34. Olsen SR, Sommers LE (1982) Phosphorus. In Page LA, Miller RH, Keeney DR (eds) Methods of soil analysis. Part 2. Chemical and microbiological properties. American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of American. ASA, SSSA, CSSA, Madison, WI, USA, pp 403–430Google Scholar
  35. Ottman MJ, Thompson TL, Doerge TA (2006) Alfalfa yield and soil phosphorus increased with topdressed granular compared with fluid phosphorus fertilizer. Agron J 98:899–906Google Scholar
  36. Rahmatullah AG, Maqsood AH, Wissemeier SD (2006) Phosphate availability from phosphate rock as related to nitrogen form and the nitrification inhibitor DMPP. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 169:675–678Google Scholar
  37. Rajput A, Panhwar QA, Naher UA, Rajput S, Hossain E, Shamshuddin J (2014) Influence of incubation period, temperature and different phosphate levels on phosphate adsorption in soil. Am J Agric Biol Sci 9:251–260Google Scholar
  38. Rao PG, Raghavulu P, Reddy SR, Reddy GV, Rao KR (1991) Relative efficiency of superphosphate and polyphosphate sources on growth and yield of rice. Indian J Agron 36:165–168Google Scholar
  39. Rhem GW, Wiese RA, Herget GW (1980) Response of corn to Zn sources and rate of Zn band-applied with either orthophosphate or polyphosphate. J Soil Sci 129:36–44Google Scholar
  40. Sample EC, Khasawneh FE, Hashimoto I (1979) Reactions of ammonium ortho- and polyphosphate fertilizers in soil: III. Effects of associated cations 1. Soil Sci Soc Am J 43:58–65Google Scholar
  41. Sattari SZ, Bouwman AF, Giller KE, Ittersum MK (2012) Residual soil phosphorus as the missing piece in the global phosphorus crisis puzzle. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 109:6348–6353Google Scholar
  42. Scheffer F, Pajenkamp H (1952) Phosphatbestimmung in Pflanzenaschen nach der Molybdän Vanadin Methode. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 56:2–8Google Scholar
  43. Shaw K (1959) Determination of organic carbon in soil and plant material. Eur J Soil Sci 10:316–326Google Scholar
  44. Torres-Dorante LO, Claassen N, Steingrobe B, Olfs HW (2006) Fertilizer-use efficiency of different inorganic polyphosphate sources: effects on soil P availability and plant P acquisition during early growth of corn. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 169:509–515Google Scholar
  45. Wang J, Chu G (2015) Phosphate fertilizer form and application strategy affect phosphorus mobility and transformation in a drip-irrigated calcareous soil. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 178:914–922Google Scholar
  46. Zarcinas BA, McLaughlin MJ, Smart MK (1996) The effect of acid digestion technique on the performance of nebulization systems used in inductively coupled plasma spectrometry. CommunSoil Sci Plant Anal 27:1331–1354Google Scholar
  47. Zhang W, Ma W, Ji Y, Fan M, Oenema O, Zhang F (2008) Efficiency, economics, and environmental implications of phosphorus resource use and the fertilizer industry in China. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 80:131–144Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanju Gao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xuewei Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jawad Ali Shah
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guixin Chu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Life ScienceShaoxing UniversityShaoxing CityChina
  2. 2.Oasis Eco-agriculture Key Laboratory Xinjiang Production and Construction Group, Department of Resources and Environmental Science, Agronomy CollegeShihezi UniversityShiheziPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations