Phosphorus Transformations in Flooded Soils
Flooding a soil changes the availability of many plant nutrients. This is principally due to oxidation-reduction processes as a result of the restriction of oxygen movement to the soil by the overlying water. Consequently, the behaviour of phosphorus under flooded conditions is found to be quite different from that under upland conditions. The importance of understanding the behaviour of phosphorus under flooded conditions can be seen from estimates which indicate that 40 per cent of the world’s population relies on rice as a major source of calories. Man has benefited greatly from the application of phosphorus fertilizers to agronomic crops. Indeed, phosphorus deficiency in plants is second only to nitrogen deficiency as the major soil fertility problem throughout the world. Recent environmental restrictions and economic trends have dictated that only that quantity of fertilizer nutrients which will support an economic return be applied in order to allow producers to be more competitive in world markets. This chapter deals with the transformations of inorganic phosphorus after a soil is flooded, its various forms in flooded soils, and its transformation after a flooded soil is drained.
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