Impacts of long-term plant biomass management on soil phosphorus under temperate grassland

Abstract

Aims

We assessed and quantified the cumulative impact of 20 years of biomass management on the nature and bioavailability of soil phosphorus (P) accumulated from antecedent fertiliser inputs.

Methods

Soil (0–2.5, 2.5–5, 5–10 cm) and plant samples were taken from replicate plots in a grassland field experiment maintained for 20 years under contrasting plant biomass regimen- biomass retained or removed after mowing. Analyses included dry matter production and P uptake, root biomass, total soil carbon (C), total nitrogen (N), total P, soil P fractionation, and 31P NMR spectroscopy.

Results

Contemporary plant production and P uptake were over 2-fold higher for the biomass retained compared with the biomass removed regimes. Soil C, total P, soluble and labile forms of inorganic and organic soil P were significantly higher under biomass retention than removal.

Conclusions

Reserves of soluble and labile inorganic P in soil were significantly depleted in response to continued long-term removal of P in plant biomass compared to retention. However, this was only sufficient to sustain plant production at half the level observed for the biomass retention after 20 years, which was partly attributed to limited mobilisation of organic P in response to P removal.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  1. Adair KL, Wratten S, Lear G (2013) Soil phosphorus depletion and shifts in plant communities change bacterial community structure in a long-term grassland management trial. Env Micro Rep 5:404–413

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Cade-Menun B, Liu CW (2014) Solution phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of soils from 2005 to 2013: a review of sample preparation and experimental parameters. Soil Sci Soc Am J 78:19–37

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Calabi-Floody M, Medina G, Rumpel C, Condron LM, Hernandez M, Dumont M, Mora ML (2017) Smart fertilizers as a strategy for sustainable agriculture. Adv Agron (in press)

  4. Chen CR, Condron LM, Davis MR, Sherlock RR (2000) Effects of afforestation on phosphorus dynamics and biological properties in a New Zealand grassland soil. Plant Soil 220:151–163

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Chen CR, Sinaj S, Condron LM, Frossard E, Sherlock RR, Davis MR (2003) Characterisation of phosphorus availability in selected New Zealand grassland soils. Nutr Cycl Agr 65:89–100

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Clarholm M, Skyllberg U, Rosling A (2015) Organic acid induced release of nutrients from metal-stabilized soil organic matter – the unbutton model. Soil Biol Biochem 84:168–176

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Condron LM, Newman S (2011) Revisiting the fundamentals of phosphorus fractionation of soils and sediments. J Soil Sed 11:830–840

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Condron LM, Goh KM, Newman RH (1985) Nature and distribution of soil phosphorus as revealed by a sequential extraction method followed by 31P nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. J Soil Sci 36:199–207

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Condron LM, Cornforth IS, Davis MR, Newman RH (1996) Influence of conifers on the forms of phosphorus in selected New Zealand grassland soils. Biol Fert Soils 21:37–42

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Condron LM, Stark C, O’Callaghan M, Clinton P, Huang Z (2010) The Role of Microbial Communities in the Formation and Decomposition of Soil Organic Matter. In: Dixon GR, Tilston EL (eds) Soil Microbiology and Sustainable Crop Production. Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, pp 81–118

    Google Scholar 

  11. Condron LM, Spears BM, Haygarth PM, Turner BL, Richardson AE (2013) Role of legacy phosphorus in improving global phosphorus-use efficiency. Env Dev 8:147–148

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Cordell D, Dranget JO, White S (2009) The story of phosphorus: global food security and food for thought. Glob Env Chg 19:292–305

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 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 64:197–214

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Dick WA, Tabatabai MA (1977) Determination of orthophosphate in aqueous solutions containing labile organic and inorganic phosphorus ompounds. J Env Qual 6:82–85

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. FAOSTAT (2011) Food and agriculture organization statistics database http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/GG. Accessed 26 March 2017

  16. Farrell M, Prendergast-Miller M, Jones DL, Hill PW, Condron LM (2014) Soil microbial nitrogen uptake is regulated by carbon availability. Soil Biol Biochem 77:261–267

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. GenStat (2013) GenStat for Windows. Volume 16. VSN International Ltd., Hemel Hempstead, UK

  18. George TS, Hinsinger P, Turner BL (2016) Phosphorus in soils and plants – facing phosphorus scarcity. Plant Soil 401:1–6

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Haygarth PM, Bardgett RD, Condron LM (2013) Phosphorus and nitrogen cycles and their management. In: Gregory PJ, Nortcliff S (eds) Russell’s Soil Conditions and Plant Growth, 12th edn. Wiley-Blackwell, London, pp 132–159

    Google Scholar 

  20. Haynes RJ, Williams PH (1993) Nutrient cycling and soil fertility in the grazed pasture ecosystem. Adv Agron 49:110–199

    Google Scholar 

  21. Hedley MJ, Stewart JWB, Chauhan BS (1982) Changes in inorganic and organic soil phosphorus fractions induced by cultivation practices and by laboratory incubations. Soil Sci Soc Am J 46:970–976

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Hodgson J, Cameron K, Clark D, Condron L, Fraser T, Hedley M, Holmes C, Kemp P, Lucas R, Moot D, Morris S, Nicholas P, Shadbolt N, Sheath G, Valentine I, Waghorn G, Woodfield D (2005) New Zealand’s pastoral industries: efficient use of grassland resources. In: Reynolds SG, Frame J (eds) Grasslands: developments, opportunities, and perspectives. Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations (Rome). Science Publishers, Enfield, New Hampshire, USA, pp 181–205 

  23. Hopkins DW, Dungait JAJ (2010) Soil Microbiology and Nutruient Cycling. In: Dixon GR, Tilston EL (eds) Soil Microbiology and Sustainable Crop Production. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 59–80

    Google Scholar 

  24. Horwath WR (2017) The role of the soil microbial biomass in cycling nutrients. In: Tate KR (ed) Microbial Biomass: A Paradigm Shift in Terrestrial Biogeochemistry. World Scientific, New Jersey, pp 41–66

    Google Scholar 

  25. Magid J, Tiessen H, Condron LM (1996) Dynamics of organic phosphorus in soils under natural and agricultural ecosystems. In: Piccolo A (ed) Humic substances in terrestrial ecosystems. Elsevier Science, Amsterdam, pp 429–466

    Google Scholar 

  26. McDowell RW, Condron LM, Stewart I (2016) Variation in environmentally- and agronomically-significant soil phosphorus concentrations with time since stopping the application of phosphorus fertilisers. Geoderma 280:67–72

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. McGill WB, Cole CV (1981) Comparative aspects of cycling of organic C, N, S and P through soil organic matter. Geoderma 26:267–286

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. Miller RO (1998) Nitric-perchloric acid wet digestion in an open vessel. In: Karla YP (ed) Handbook of Reference Methods for Plant Analysis. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 57–61

    Google Scholar 

  29. Nash D, Haygarth PM, Turner BL, Condron LM, McDowell RW, Richardson AE, Watkins M, Heaven M (2014) Using organic phosphorus to sustain grassland productivity: a perspective. Geoderma 221-222:11–19

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. Negassa W, Leinweber P (2009) How does the Hedley sequential phosphorus fractionation reflect impacts of land use and management on soil phosphorus: A review. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 172:305–325

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. Olsen SR, Sommers LE (1982) Phosphorus. In: Page AL, Miller RH, Keeney DR (eds) Methods of Soil Analysis (Second Edition). Soil Science Society of America, Madison, pp 403–430

  32. Perrott KW, Sarathchandra SU, Waller JE (1990) Seasonal storage and relaese of phopshorus and potassium by organic matter and teh microbial biomass in a high producing pasture. Aust J Soil Res 28:593–608

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  33. Pierzynski GM (2000) Methods of phosphorus analysis for soils, sediments, residuals, and waters. Southern Cooperative Series Bulletin No. 396. North Carolina State University, Manhattan, USA

  34. Richardson AE, Lynch JP, Ryan PR, Delhaize E, Smith FA, Smith SE, Harvey PR, Ryan MH, Veneklaas EJ, Lambers H, Oberson A, Culvenor RA, Simpson RJ (2011) Plant and microbial strategies to improve the phosphorus efficiency of agriculture. Plant Soil 349:121–156

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  35. Richter DD, Allan HL, Li J, Markewitz D, Raikes J (2006) Bioavailability of slowly cycling phosphorus: major restructuring on soil P fractions over four decades in an aggrading forest. Oecologia 150:259–271

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  36. Sattari SZ, Bouwman AF, Giller KE, van Ittersum MK (2012) Residual soil phosphorus as the missing piece in the global phosphorus crisis puzzle. Proc Nat Acad Sci 109:6348–6355

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  37. Scott JT, Condron LM (2003) Dynamics and availability of phosphorus in the rhizosphere of a temperate silvopastoral system. Biol Fert Soil 39:65–73

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  38. Simpson ME, McLenaghen RD, Chirino-Valle I, Condron LM (2012) Effects of long-term pasture management on the nature and bioavailability of soil phosphorus. Biol Fert Soils 48:607–611

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  39. Simpson RJ, Richardson AE, Nichols SN, Crush JR (2014) Pasture plants and soil fertility management to improve the efficiency of phosphorus fertiliser use in temperate grassland systems. Crop Pasture Sci 65:556–575

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  40. Smit AL, Bindraban PS, Schröder JJ, Conjiin JQ, van der Meer HG (2009) Phosphorus in Agriculture: Global Resources, Trends and Developments. Plant Research International BV, Wageningen, Netherlands, 36 pp

  41. Stutter MI, Shand CA, George TS, Blackwell MSA, Bol R, MacKay RL, Richardson AE, Condron LM, Turner BL, Haygarth PM (2012) Recovering phosphorus from soil – a root solution? Env Sci Tech 46:1977–1978

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  42. Tate KR, Speir TW, Ross DJ (1991) Temporal variations in some plant and soil P pools in two pasture soils of widely differing P fertility status. Plant Soil 132:219–232

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  43. Tipping E, Somerville CJ, Luster J (2016) The C:N:P:S stoichiometry of soil organic matter. Biogeochemistry 130:117–131

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  44. Ulrich AE, Frossard E (2014) On the history of a recurring concept: phosphorus scarcity. Sci Tot Env 490:697–707

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  45. White RP, Murray S, Rohweder M, Price SD, Thompson KM (2000) Grassland Ecosystems. World Resources Institute, Washington DC

    Google Scholar 

  46. Wright IA (2005) Future prospects for meat and milk from grass-based systems. In: Reynolds SG, Fram J (eds) Grasslands: developments, opportunities, and perspectives. Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations (Rome). Science Publishers, Enfield, pp 161–179

    Google Scholar 

  47. Yang X, Post WM (2011) Phosphorus transformations as a function of pedogenesis: A synthesis of soil phosphorus data using Hedley fractionation method. Biogeosciences 8:2907–2916

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  48. Zealand SN (2015) New Zealand in Profile:2015 http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/snapshots-of-nz/nz-in-profile-2015/imports-exports.aspx. Accessed 26 March 2017

Download references

Acknowledgements

Lincoln University is responsible for the establishment and ongoing maintenance of the long-term ecology field trial. The senior author of this study was financially supported by the Brazilian Ministry of Education (MEC) through the CAPES agency (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior). We thank Zach Simpson for advice on statistics.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gustavo Boitt.

Additional information

Responsible Editor: Phil Haygarth

Electronic supplementary material

ESM 1

(DOCX 39.8 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Boitt, G., Black, A., Wakelin, S.A. et al. Impacts of long-term plant biomass management on soil phosphorus under temperate grassland. Plant Soil 427, 163–174 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-017-3429-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Legacy phosphorus
  • Phosphorus depletion
  • Soil phosphorus fractionation
  • 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy