, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 237–246 | Cite as

High Spatial and Fast Changes of Iron Redox State and Phosphorus Solubility in a Seasonally Flooded Temperate Wetland Soil

  • Michael Prem
  • Hans Christian Bruun Hansen
  • Walter Wenzel
  • Lisa Heiberg
  • Helle Sørensen
  • Ole Kragholm Borggaard
Original Research


Wetland soils may act as sinks for phosphorus from agricultural soils but P sorption is sensitive to soil redox conditions. When soils become flooded and anoxic, FeIII is reduced and P sorption decreases. To get improved knowledge about the relationship between redox state and P solubility under field conditions, a grid of 4 × 5 sampling points laid out in an Fe-rich meadow soil bordering a Danish river were monitored during 11 weeks in the spring comprising in total five sampling dates. The redox state was quantified as the degree of Fe reduction (DRFe), i.e. percentage of soluble plus sorbed FeII to total pedogenic, non-silicate Fe. Average DRFe was highest (76 %) at beginning of April and decreased to 36 % within 9 weeks. The temporal and spatial variation of DRFe and the soil solution concentrations of Fe and P were high. Thus, average P in solution (Psol) ranged from 24 to 4 μM, closely correlated with average DRFe (R 2 = 0.83). Soils farthest away from the river drained first and hence exhibited the biggest change in DRFe and Psol over time. The study demonstrates the great spatial and temporal variability of redox state and P solubility in such wetlands. Some likely consequences of redox oscillations are indicated.


Iron oxides Phosphate sorption Eutrophication Reductive dissolution Water pollution 



The authors thank Sabrina N.L. Andersen for carrying out the CBD and TC analysis, Brigitte B. Rasmussen for running the samples on the ICP-MS, Sofie E. Nielsen for the analysis of TP and Pi and Søren Olsen for the help with the AAS analysis.


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Prem
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hans Christian Bruun Hansen
    • 2
  • Walter Wenzel
    • 1
  • Lisa Heiberg
    • 3
  • Helle Sørensen
    • 4
  • Ole Kragholm Borggaard
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Forest and Soil SciencesUniversity of Natural Resources and Life SciencesViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Plant and Environmental SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenFrederiksbergDenmark
  3. 3.Institute of BiologyUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark
  4. 4.Department of Mathematical SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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