Plant and Soil

, Volume 245, Issue 2, pp 277–286 | Cite as

Phosphorus fertilizer recovery from calcareous soils amended with humic and fulvic acids

  • Antonio Delgado
  • Antonio Madrid
  • Shawkat Kassem
  • Luis Andreu
  • María del Carmen del Campillo


Precipitation of Ca phosphates negatively affects recovery by plants of P fertilizer applied to calcareous soils, but organic matter slows the precipitation of poorly soluble Ca phosphates. To study the effect of high molecular weight organic compounds on the recovery of applied P, a mixture of humic and fulvic acids was applied to calcareous soils with different levels of salinity and Na saturation which were fertilized with 200 and 2000 mg P kg−1 as NH4H2PO4. Recovery was measured as the ratio of increment in Olsen P-to-applied P after 30, 60 and 150 days, and associated P forms were studied using sequential chemical fractionation and 31P NMR spectroscopy. Application of the humic-fulvic acid mixture (HFA) increased the amount of applied P recovered as Olsen P in all the soils except in one soil with the highest Na saturation. In soils with high Ca saturation and high Olsen P, recovery increased from < 15% in the absence of amendment to > 40% at a 5 g HFA kg−1 amendment rate (30 days incubation and 200 mg P kg−1 fertilizer rate). This is ascribed to inhibition of the precipitation of poorly soluble Ca phosphates, consistent with the sequential chemical extraction (reduction of the HCl extractable P) and P concentration in 0.01 M CaCl2 (1:10 soil:solution ratio) extracts. 31P NMR spectra revealed that in non-amended samples, most spectral shifts were due to poorly soluble P compounds (carbonate apatite); on the other hand, at the 5 g HFA kg−1 rate, significant amounts of amorphous Ca phosphate and dicalcium phosphate dihydrate (DCDP) were identified. The increase in the recovery of applied P due to HFA reveals a positive effect of the application of organic matter as soil amendments on the efficiency of P fertilizers and also explains that manures and other organic sources of P were more efficient increasing available P than inorganic P fertilizers in calcareous soils.

Ca phosphates humic and fulvic acids phosphorus 31P NMR spectroscopy P fractionation phosphorus P recovery 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Delgado
    • 1
  • Antonio Madrid
    • 1
  • Shawkat Kassem
    • 1
  • Luis Andreu
    • 1
  • María del Carmen del Campillo
    • 2
  1. 1.Dpto. Ciencias AgroforestalesUniversidad de SevillaSevillaSpain
  2. 2.Dpto. Ciencias y Recursos Agrícolas y ForestalesUniversidad de CórdobaCórdobaSpain

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