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Analysis methods for the determination of anthropogenic additions of P to agricultural soils

Richard L. Haney, Virginia L. Jin, Mari-Vaughn V. Johnson, Elizabeth B. Haney, R. Daren Harmel, Jeffrey G. Arnold, Michael J. White
Open journal of soil science 2015 v.5 no.2 pp. 59-68
accuracy, agricultural soils, anthropogenic activities, colorimetry, environmental impact, fertilizer application, mineralization, phosphorus, risk, soil analysis, soil nutrients, spectral analysis
Phosphorus additions and measurement in soil is of concern on lands where biosolids have been applied. Colorimetric analysis for plant-available P may be inadequate for the accurate assessment of soil P. Phosphate additions in a regulatory environment need to be accurately assessed as the reported levels may not correlate well to environmental risk. In order to accurately assess potential P runoff and leaching, as well as plant uptake, we must be able to measure organic P mineralized by the soil biotic community. Soils with varying rates of biosolid application were evaluated for mineralized organic P during a 112-day incubation using the difference between P measured using a colorimetric rapid-flow analyzer (RFA) and axial flow inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). An increase in P mineralized from the treated soils was observed from analysis with ICP-OES but not the RFA. These results confirm that organic P concentrations increased due to increasing biosolid application; however, traditional soil testing using an RFA for detection would not accurately portray these increases in soil P concentration and potential P losses from treated soils.