Retention of phosphorous in highly weathered soils under a lowland Amazonian forest ecosystem.

TitleRetention of phosphorous in highly weathered soils under a lowland Amazonian forest ecosystem.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsMcGroddy, ME, Silver, WL, Cosme-de-Olivera, Jr, R, W. de Mello, Z, Keller, M
Date Published11/2008
Accession NumberLUQ.895

[1] The low available phosphorus (P) pools typical of highly weathered tropical forest soils are thought to result from a combination of export of phosphorus via erosion and leaching as well as chemical reactions resulting in physically and chemically protected P compounds. Despite the low apparent P availability, these soils support some of the highest terrestrial net primary productivity globally. We followed different P fractions after P additions to two soil types, sandy loam and sandy clay, over 1 year in a lowland Amazonian forest. Of all the soil P fractions measured, only the NaHCO3 and NaOH extractable fractions showed a significant increase following P additions, and this occurred only in sandy clays (+ 56.9 ± 15.1 kg ha−1 and + 2.8 ± 1.5 kg ha−1, respectively). Our results indicate that intermediate rather than recalcitrant pools are the dominant fate of added P over an annual timescale even in fine-textured soils. Fine root and forest floor P pools increased more in the sandy loams following P additions suggesting a larger biotic P sink in these soils. Leaching of inorganic P from the surface soils was an unexpected and significant fate of added P in both soil types (9 ± 3% in the sandy loams, 2 ± 1% in the sandy clays). Significantly more of the added P was retained in the sandy clay soils than in the sandy loams (69 ± 20% versus 33 ± 7%) over the 1-year period.