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Microbiological processes in soil organic phosphorus transformations in conventional and biological cropping systems

Oberson, A., Besson, J.M., Maire, N., Sticher, H.
Biology and fertility of soils 1996 v.21 no.3 pp. 138-148
soil microorganisms, biomass, biological activity in soil, carbon, mineralization, acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, soil enzymes, enzyme activity, organophosphorus compounds, farming systems, temporal variation, vegetative growth, biogeochemical cycles, soil respiration
We studied microbiological processes in organic P transformations in soils cultivated with conventional and biological farming systems during the 13th and 14th year of different cropping systems. The treatments included control, biodynamic, bioorganic, and conventional plots and a mineral fertilization treatment. Different P fractions were investigated using a sequential fractionation method. Labile organic P, extracted by 0.5 M NaHCO3; was not affected by the farming systems. However, residual organic P remaining in the soil at the end of the sequential fractionation procedure showed that the biodynamic treatment, in particular, led to a modification of the composition of organic P. Labile organic P, organic P extractable in 0.1 M NaOH, and total residual P all showed temporal fluctuations. As total residual P consists of more than 70% organic P, it can be assumed that residual organic P contributed to these variations. This result indicates that chemically resistant organic P participates in short-term accumulation and mineralization processes. All biological soil parameters tested in this study showed significant temporal fluctuations, mainly attributed to differences in climatic conditions between years, but possibly also related to the growth cycle of the crop. The higher values of the biological soil parameters in the biodynamic and bioorganic treatments were explained by the greater importance of manure and the different plant protection strategies. The level of phosphatase activity and mineralization of organic C indicated a higher turnover of organic substrates, and thus of organic P, in the biodynamic and bioorganic treatments. Biological parameters were shown to be critical for assessing the significance of organic P in the soil P turnover.