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Phosphorus mobility in arable soils (continuation of NT1007) - NT1015

NT1015. Phosphorus mobility in arable soils.

Both inorganic and organic P are considered immobile in neutral soils, however there is some evidence of the movement of organic and inorganic P through soil. The proportion of organic P, microbial P or P bound to clay colloids in drainage water is unknown. This study will aim to develop methods for P speciation, determine the mobility of various P species, and study the factors controlling P mobility in soil. Techniques will be developed for speciating P (microbial, non-microbial, colloidal inorganic, dissolved organic P, etc.) lost from arable land. Soil fractions from various established experimental field sites will be analysed for each P species throughout the soil profile. P species occurring in drainage water and surface run-off from selected field sites will also be measured. The study will identify those forms of P that are truly mobile in soil and relate them to farming practices. This should enable determination of the contribution of arable agriculture to P in surface waters and the development of appropriate management practices for its reduction. Study results will also facilitate the development of mathematical models of P mobility and P cycling and improve understanding of the properties of soil colloids and microbial ecology.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1996

To: 1999

Cost: £222,812
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Rothamsted Research (BBSRC)
Fields of Study
Fertilisers and Nitrate Pollution