Plant and Soil

, Volume 148, Issue 1, pp 115–127 | Cite as

City refuse compost as a phosphorus source to overcome the P-fixation capacity of sesquioxide-rich soils

  • E. Iglesias Jimenez
  • V. Perez Garcia
  • M. Espino
  • J. M. Hernandez Moreno
Research Article


In sesquioxide-rich soils of tropical and subtropical areas and volcanic-ash soils with high levels of active Al(Fe), large amounts of phosphate fertilizers are needed to overcome their high P-fixation capacity (“quenching” strategy). A greenhouse pot experiment has been used to evaluate the effectiveness of city refuse compost (CRC) as a P-source for these variable-charge soils, compared to inorganic P. Mature CRC and K2HPO4 were applied at rates equivalent to 125, 250, 375, 500 and 625 kg P ha−1 to a ferrallitic soils from Tenerife Island (Andeptic Paleudult) with a high content in active Al+Fe (4.82%) and a high P-fixation capacity (87%). Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) was grown in pots and plants were harvested at regular intervals after seedling emergence. CRC increases plant P concentration and soil labile-P proportional to the applied rate. The best results were obtained from a compost application of 30 t ha−1 equivalent-rate, after a residence time of at least three months. An important residual effect in the supply capacity of P in relation to the phosphate fertilizer was also observed. The relative agronomic effectiveness (RAE) in comparison to K2HPO4 was 66% after 6 months, considering P uptake + soil labile-P. The soil P-fixation capacity was significantly reduced from a compost application of 40 t ha−1 equivalent-rate. Competition in adsorption between organic ligands and phosphate, in combination with net mineralization of organic P in compost, might account for the high RAE value obtained. The main conclusion is that the city refuse compost could be a suitable P-amendment for resquioxic soils due to its high RAE, and the residual effect on P-supply. ei]H. Lambers

Key words

compost phosphate fertilizer P-fixation capacity plant P uptake sesquioxic soils soil P availability 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Iglesias Jimenez
    • 1
  • V. Perez Garcia
    • 1
  • M. Espino
    • 2
  • J. M. Hernandez Moreno
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Natural Products and AgrobiologyCSICLa Laguna, TenerifeSpain
  2. 2.Department of Soil ScienceUniversity of La LagunaTenerifeSpain

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