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Phosphatase activity and phosphorus fractions in Karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor F. Muell.) forest soils

Summary

Karri forest soils contain negligible concentrations of labile-P, low concentrations of total P and more P in organic forms than inorganic. The ratio of organic P to inorganic P was lowest (1:2) in recently burnt surface soils and greatest (7:1) at depth in soil that had been undisturbed for long periods of time. Phosphomonoesterase and phosphodiesterase activities (to 10 cm depth, phosphomonoesterase 700–1300; phosphodiesterase 2000–2400 μg nitrophenol released h-1 g-1 fresh weight) were comparable to those in other, organically rich forest soils. The optimum pH for phosphatase activities were within 1–2 units of soil pH (∼6) and little reduction in activity was observed over the pH range 4–8. Phosphatase activity was reduced by air-drying (up to 20-fold reduction) and was almost entirely absent in soils that were heat-affected as a result of logging/burning operations. Neither phosphomonoesterase nor phosphodiesterase were directly related to soil P fractions or total P. A reduction in P demand is postulated as the cause of reduced phosphatase activity and the increased concentration of organic P with increasing soil depth.

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Adams, M.A. Phosphatase activity and phosphorus fractions in Karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor F. Muell.) forest soils. Biol Fertil Soils 14, 200–204 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00346061

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00346061

Key words

  • Phosphorus fractions
  • Phosphatase
  • Eucalyptus diversicolor
  • Organic forest soils
  • Mineralization