Comparing two theories about the nature of soil phosphate

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Two theories about the nature of phosphate in soil are current. One holds that soil phosphate is mostly present as particles of iron, aluminium and calcium phosphates: the precipitate-particulate theory. The other holds that phosphate is mostly adsorbed and penetrates heterogeneous, variable-charge particles: the adsorption-penetration theory. This is the only theory that is consistent with and can be deduced from observations. It is my contention that the persistence of the precipitate-particulate theory leads to: wasted research effort in trying to identify the supposed phosphate fractions; failure to recognize the long-term changes in soil phosphate due to repeated applications, and thus to over-fertilisation; and misapprehension about the effects of pH on phosphate availability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-685
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

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