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Effects of Organic Amendments on Soil Physical Attributes and Aggregate-Associated Phosphorus Under Long-Term Rice-Wheat Cropping

MITRAN, Tarik, Kumar MANI, Pabitra, Kumar BANDYOPADHYAY, Prasanta, BASAK, Nirmalendu
Pedosphere 2018 v.28 no.5 pp. 823-832
NPK fertilizers, animal manures, clay, clay soils, cropping systems, green manures, microaggregates, mineral fertilizers, phosphorus, rice straw, runoff, sieving, silt, soil amendments, soil sampling, water stable soil aggregates, India
The quantification of phosphorus (P) in bulk soil and P distribution in different size fractions of water-stable aggregates (WSAs) are important for assessing potential P loss through runoff. We evaluated available and total P distribution within WSAs of a sitty clay to clay soil in a long-term fertility experiment of a rice-wheat cropping system in India. Surface soil samples were collected from seven plots amended with NPK fertilizers in combination with or without organic amendments, farmyard manure (FYM), green manure (GM), and paddy straw (PS). The plot with no NPK fertilizers or organic amendments was set as a control. The soil samples were separated by wet sieving into four soil aggregate size fractions: large macroaggregates (> 2.0 mm), small macroaggregates (0.25–2.0 mm), fine microaggregates (0.05–0.25 mm), and a silt + clay-sized fraction (< 0.05 mm). Structural indices were higher in the soil receiving organic amendments than in the soil receiving inorganic fertilizer alone. Organically amended soil had a higher proportion of stable macroaggregates than the control and the soil receiving inorganic fertilizer alone, which were rich in microaggregates. Total and available P contents within WSAs were inversely related to the aggregate size, irrespective of treatment. The distribution of available and total P in the soil aggregate size fraction was as follows: silt + clay-size fraction > small macroaggregates > fine microaggregates > large macroaggregates. Within a size class, aggregate-associated available and total P contents in the organically amended soil were in the following order: FYM > PS ≥ GM. The available P content of the microaggregates (< 0.25 mm) was 8- to 10-times higher than that of the macroaggregates (> 0.25 mm), and the total P content of the microaggregates was 4- to 5-times higher than that of the macroaggregates. Cultivation without organic amendments resulted in more microaggregates that could be checked by the application of organic amendments such as FYM and GM, which increased the proportion of water-stable macroaggregates by consolidating microaggregates into macroaggregates.