Advertisement

Plant and Soil

, Volume 367, Issue 1–2, pp 41–55 | Cite as

The phosphorus concentration of common rocks—a potential driver of ecosystem P status

  • Stephen Porder
  • Sohini Ramachandran
Regular Article

Abstract

Background

Soil phosphorus (P) availability can be an important regulator of ecosystem processes. Changes in P availability over time have long been studied, but the P concentration of soil parent materials—which determines ecosystem P concentration at the onset of soil formation—have never been systematically explored. Here we ask two questions: 1) how does P concentration vary among soil parent materials? and 2) under what range of conditions do those differences influence soil P concentration?

Methods

We used the Earthchem webportal to compile the P concentration of 263,539 rocks. We then gathered data from 62 sites (MAT ranging from 200–5,000 mm yr-1 and soil age from 0.3–4,100 ky) and assessed the correlation between rock and soil P concentration.

Results

We found a 30 fold difference in median P concentration among rock types, ranging from 120 ppm (several ultramafic rocks) to >3,000 ppm (several alkali basalts). Median P was significantly lower in common silica-rich rocks (e.g. granite - 436 ppm) and higher in common iron-rich rocks (e.g. andesite - 1,000 ppm). In sedimentary rocks, which make up 70 % of the ice-free land surface, median P was highest in mudstone (1,135 ppm) and decreased with increasing grainsize (siltstone-698 ppm, sandstone-500 ppm). Where soil P and parent material P were measured in the same site, parent material P explained 42 % of the variance in total soil P (n = 62), and explanatory power was higher for sites with similar climate.

Conclusion

The variation in P concentration among common rock types is on a comparable scale to the changes in total P, and several P pools, over long-term soil development. Quantifying these differences may be an important step towards characterizing regional and global variation in soil and ecosystem P status.

Keywords

Phosphorus Parent material Bedrock Nutrient EarthChem 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Benjamin Turner for putting together this special issue, Leo Condron, Rich McDowell, and one anonymous reviewer for helpful comments on previous versions of this manuscript. This work was funded by grants from the National Science Foundation (DEB 0918387) and the Andrew Mellon Foundation to S.P.

References

  1. Boggs S Jr (1987) Principles of sedimentology and stratigraphy. Macmillan Publishing Co., New York, p 784Google Scholar
  2. Bray RH, Kurtz LT (1945) Determination of total, organic, and available forms of phosphorus in soils. Soil Sci 59:39–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chacon N, Flores S, Gonzalez A (2006a) Implications of iron solubilization on soil phosphorus release in seasonally flooded forests of the lower Orinoco River, Venezuela. Soil Biol Biochem 38:1494–1499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chacon N, Silver W, Dubinsky E, Cusack D (2006b) Iron reduction and soil phosphorus solubilization in humid tropical forests soils: the roles of labile carbon pools and an electron shuttle compound. Biogeochemistry 78:67–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chadwick OA, Derry LA, Vitousek PM, Huebert BJ, Hedin LO (1999) Changing sources of nutrients during four million years of ecosystem development. Nature 397:491–497Google Scholar
  6. Chadwick OA, Gavenda RT, Kelly EF, Ziegler K, Olson CG, Elliott WC, Hendricks DM (2003) The impact of climate on the biogeochemical functioning of volcanic soils. Chem Geol 202:195–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cleveland CC, Reed SC, Townsend AR (2006) Nutrient reguation of organic matter decomposition in a tropical rain forest. Ecology 87:492–503PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Crews TE, Kitayama K, Fownes JH, Riley RH, Herbert DA, Mueller-Dombois D, Vitousek PM (1995) Changes in soil phosphorus fractions and ecosystem dynamics across a long chronosequence in Hawaii. Ecology 76:1407–1424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cross AF, Schlesinger WH (1995) A literature-review and evaluation of the Hedley Fractionation—applications to the biogeochemical cycle of soil-phosphorus in natural ecosystems. Geoderma 64:197–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dieter D, Elsenbeer H, Turner BL (2010) Phosphorus fractionation in lowland tropical rainforest soils in central Panama. Catena 82:118–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dürr HH, Maybeck M, Dürr SH (2005) Lithologic composition of the Earth’s continental surfaces derived from a new digital map emphasizing riverine material transfer. Global Biogeochem Cy 19 (GB4S10). doi: 10.1029/2005GB002515
  12. Elser JJ, Bracken MES, Cleland EE, Gruner DS, Harpole WS, Hillebrand H, Ngai JT, Seabloom EW, Shurin JB, Smith JE (2007) Global analysis of nitrogen and phosphorus limitation of primary producers in freshwater, maraine, and terrestrial ecosystems. 1135–1142Google Scholar
  13. Gleason SM, Read J, Ares A, Metcalfe DJ (2009) Phosphorus economics of tropical rainforest species and stands across soil contrasts in Queensland, Australia: understanding the effects of soil specialization and trait plasticity. Funct Ecol 23:1157–1166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harrison AF (1987) Soil organic phosphorus: a review of world literature. Wallingford, UKGoogle Scholar
  15. Hedley MJ, Stewart JWB, Chauhan BS (1982) Changes in inorganic and organic soil phosphorus fractions by cultivation practice and by laboratory incubations. Soil Science Society of America journal 46:970–976CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hooper DU, Vitousek PM (1998) Effects of plant composition and diversity on nutrient cycling in serpentine grassland. Ecological Monographs 68:121–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huenneke LF, Hamburg SP, Koide R, Mooney HA, Vitousek PM (1990) Effects of soil resources on plant invasion and community structure in Californian serpentine grassland. Ecology 71:478–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jenny H (1941) Factors of soil formation: a system of quantitative pedology. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. Jenny H, Arkley RJ, Schultz AM (1969) The pygmy forest-podsol ecosystem and its dune associates on the Mendocino Coast. Madroño 20:60–74Google Scholar
  20. Jobbágy EG, Jackson RB (2001) The distribution of soil nutrients with depth: global patterns and the imprint of plants. Biogeochemistry 53:51–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Johnson AH, Frizano J, Vann DR (2003) Biogeochemical implications of labile phosphorus in forest soils determined by the Hedley fractionation procedure. Oecologia 135:487–499PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Kitayama K, Majalap-Lee N, AIba S (2000) Soil phosphorus fractionation and phosphorus-use efficiencies of tropical rainforests along altitudinal gradients of Mount Kinabalu, Borneo. Oecologia 123:342–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kurtz AC, Derry LA, Chadwick OA (2001) Accretion of Asian dust to Hawaiian soils: isotopic, elemental and mineral mass balances. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 65:1971–1983CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lajtha K, Schlesinger WH (1988) The biogeochemistry of phosphorus cycling and phosphorus availability along a desert soil chronosequence. Ecology 69:24–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Le Bayon R, Weisskopf L, Martinoia E, Jansa J, Frossard E, Keller F, Föllmi K, Gobat JM (2006) Soil phosphorus uptake by continuously cropped Lupinus albus: a new microcosm design. Plant Soil 283:309–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lohse KA, Dietrich WE (2005) Contrasting effects of soil development on hydrological properties and flow paths. Water Resour Res 41:60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mage S, Porder S (in press) Parent material and topography determine soil phosphorus status in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico. EcosystemsGoogle Scholar
  28. Martinelli LA, Piccolo MC, Townsend AR, Vitousek PM, Cuevas E, McDowell W, Robertson GP, Santos OC, Treseder K (1999) Nitrogen stable isotopic composition of leaves and soil: tropical versus temperate forests. Biogeochemistry 46:45–65Google Scholar
  29. McDowell RW, Cade-Menun B, Stewart I (2007) Organic phosphorus speciation and pedogenesis: analysis by solution 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Eur J Soil Sci 58:1348–1357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Miller AJ, Schuur EAG, Chadwick OA (2001) Redox control of phosphorus pools in Hawaiian montane forest soils. Geoderma 102:219–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Okin GS, Mahowald NM, Chadwick OA, Artaxo P (2004) Impact of dersert dust on the biogeochemistry of phosphorus in terrestrial ecosystems. Global Biogeochem Cy 18:GB2005 2001–2009Google Scholar
  32. Olsen SR, Cole CV, Wantanabe FS (1954) Estimation of available phosphorus in soils by extraction with sodium bicarbonate, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  33. Oon TT (1971) Studies on a chronosequence near Reefton. University of Cantebury, LincolnGoogle Scholar
  34. Peretyazhko T, Sposito G (2005) Iron(III) reduction and phosphorus solubilization in humid tropical forest soils. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 69:3643–3652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pett-Ridge J (2009) Contributions of dust to phosphorus cycling in tropical forests of the Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico. Biogeochemistry 94:63–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Porder S, Chadwick OA (2009) Climate and soil-age constraints on nutrient uplift and retention by plants. Ecology 90:623–636PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Porder S, Hilley GE (2011) Linking chronosequences with the rest of the world: predicting soil phosphorus content in denuding landscapes. Biogeochemistry 102:153–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Porder S, Paytan A, Vitousek PM (2005) Erosion and landscape development affect plant nutrient status in the Hawaiian Islands. Oecologia 142:440–449PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Porder S, Hilley GE, Chadwick OA (2007a) Chemical weathering, mass loss, and dust inputs across a climate by time matrix in the Hawaiian Islands. Earth Planet Sci Lett 258:414–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Porder S, Vitousek PM, Chadwick OA, Chamberlain CP, Hilley GE (2007b) Uplift, erosion, and phosphorus limitation in terrestrial ecosystems. Ecosystems 10:158–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Proctor J (2003) Vegetation and soil and plant chemistry on ultramafic rocks in the tropical Far East. Perspect Plant Ecol Evol Systemat 6:105–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Reich PB, Oleksyn J (2004) Global patterns of plant leaf N and P in relation to temperature and latitude. Proc Natl Acad Sci 101(30):11001–11006Google Scholar
  43. Richter D, Allen H, Li J, Markewitz D, Raikes J (2006) Bioavailability of slowly cycling soil phosphorus: major restructuring of soil P fractions over four decades in an aggrading forest. Oecologia 150:259–271PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sanchez PA (1976) Properties and management of soils in the tropics. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  45. Selmants PC, Hart SC (2010) Phosphorus and soil development: does the Walker and Syers model apply to semiarid ecosystems. Ecology 91:474–484PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Soderberg K, Compton JS (2007) Dust as a nutrient source for fynbos ecosystems, South Africa. Ecosystems 10:550–561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (2011) Biometry. 4 edition. W.H. FreemanGoogle Scholar
  48. Spear FS (1993) Metamorphic phase equilibria and pressure-temperature-time paths. Mineralogical Society of America, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  49. Stevens PR (1968) A chronosequence of soils near the Franz Joseph Glacier. University of Cantebury, CanteburyGoogle Scholar
  50. Suchet PA, Probst J, Ludwig W (2003) Worldwide distribution of continental rock lithology: implications for the atmospheric/soil CO2 uptake by continental weathering and alkalinity river transport to the oceans. Global Biogeochem Cy 17(2):1038. doi: 10.1029/202GB001891
  51. Syers JK, Johnston AE, Curtin D (2008) Efficiency of soil and fertilizer phosphorus use: reconciling changing concepts of soil phosphorus behavior with agronomic information. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  52. Takyu M, Aiba S, Kitayama K (2002) Effects of topography on tropical lower montane forests under different geological conditions on Mount Kinabalu, Borneo. Plant Ecology 159:35–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Taylor SR, McClennan SM (1985) The continental crust: its composition and evolution. Blackwell Scientific, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  54. Tiessen H, Moir JO (1993) Characterization of available P by sequential extraction. In: Carter MR (ed) Soil sampling and methods of analysis. Lewis, Boca Raton, pp 75–86Google Scholar
  55. Turner BL (2008) Resource partitioning for soil phosphorus: a hypothesis. J Ecol 96:698–702CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Turner BL, Engelbrecht BMJ (2011) Soil organic phosphorus in lowland tropical rain forests. Biogeochemistry 103:297–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Turner BL, Condron LM, Richardson SJ, Peltzer DA, Allison VJ (2007) Soil organic phosphorus transformations during pedogenesis. Ecosystems 10:1166–1181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Vitousek PM (1982) Nutrient cycling and nutrient use efficiency. Am Nat 119:553–572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Vitousek PM (1984) Litterfall, nutrient cycling and nutrient limitation in tropical forests. Ecology 65(1):285–298Google Scholar
  60. Vitousek PM (2004) Nutrient cycling and limitation: Hawai'i as a model system. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  61. Vitousek PM, Howarth RW (1991) Nitrogen limitation on land and in the sea: How can it occur? Biogeochemistry 13:87–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Vitousek PM, Porder S, Houlton BZ, Chadwick OA (2010) Terrestrial phosphorus limitation: mechanisms, implications, and nitrogen-phosphorus interactions. Ecol Appl 20:5–15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Walker TW, Syers JK (1976) The fate of phosphorus during pedogenesis. Geoderma 15:19CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Center for Computational Molecular BiologyBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

Personalised recommendations