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Plant available phosphorus in soil as predictor for the leaching potential: Insights from long-term lysimeter studies (2018)

Rupp H., Meissner R., Leinweber P.

Ambio, 47 (S1), 103-113



This study aimed to demonstrate the impact of phosphorus (P) mineral fertilization on topsoil P content and P leaching. We evaluated 83 datasets from 25 years from lysimeter experiments involving different cropping systems (winter crop, summer crop and autumn tillage, harvested grass) or unfertilized fallow, four types of soil texture, and three levels of applied mineral P fertilizer. A positive monotonic and significant correlation was indicated between P in the topsoil determined by the double lactate method (PDL) and the yearly flow-weight total (TP) concentrations in leachates with Spearman rank correlations rs (rs [0.183) and probability (p)\0.05. The present German recommended rates of P mineral fertilization are proposed insufficient to protect fresh and marine waters from undesired P pollution and eutrophication. A long-term reduction of excess soil P is urgent along with other measures to mitigate high P inputs to surface and ground waters.