Plant and Soil

, Volume 252, Issue 2, pp 227–239 | Cite as

Long-term availability of nutients in forest soil derived from fast- and slow-release fertilizers

  • T. AarnioEmail author
  • M. Räty
  • P.J. Martikainen


The availability of P, K and Mg was studied in boreal forest soil treated 10 years earlier with slow- and fast-release fertilizers. Fast release superphosphate, potassium chloride and magnesium sulphate and slow-release apatite (P) and biotite (K, Mg) were applied alone or together with urea or urea+limestone. The concentrations of total and exchangeable nutrients in the organic horizon and the concentration of exchangeable nutrients in the uppermost mineral horizon were measured. CO2 production during aerobic laboratory incubation was used to estimate the microbial activity and substrate-induced respiration to determine the microbial biomass C in soil. Biotite caused a moderate but persistent increase in pH in the organic horizon, but this increase was smaller than with lime. The fast-release fertilizers had no effects on the nutrient status of the soil 10 years after the fertilization. However, apatite and biotite still increased the total content of Mg, K and P and the concentrations of exchangeable Mg and soluble P in soil. On the other hand, simultaneous addition of lime and biotite reduced the release of soluble P from apatite. The reduction in soil microbial activity found with urea and the fast-release salts soon after application was no longer evident 10 years later. There was no increase in nitrification in the fertilized soils, not even with the urea+lime treatment. The previous results right after the application and the results presented here do not indicate major leaching of nutrients from the slow-release fertilizers to the deeper soil profiles.

apatite biotite forest soil long-term nutrient availability mineralization 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vantaa Research Centre, Finnish Forest Research InstituteVantaaFinland
  2. 2.Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of KuopioKuopioFinland

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