Dissolution of phosphate rocks in soils. 2. Effect of pH on the dissolution and plant availability of phosphate rock in soil with pH dependent charge

N. S. Bolan, M. J. Hedley

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53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effect of soil pH on the dissolution of phosphate rocks (PRs) and the subsequent availability of the dissolved inorganic phosphorus (Pi) to plants was examined in a volcanic soil adjusted to different pH values. Potassium dihydrogen orthophosphate (KH2PO4) and three PRs, Nauru (NPR), Jordan (JPR) and North Carolina (NCPR) were incubated with the pH-amended soils at a rate of 800 μg P g-1 soil for 84 days. The extent of PR dissolution was determined by measuring the increases in the amount of 0.5 M NaOH extractable Pi (ΔNaOH-P) in the PR treated soil over the control soil. The amount of plant available P was measured either by extracting with 0.5 M NaHCO3 or by growing ryegrass in soil samples incubated with the phosphate sources. At each pH the order of the extent of PR dissolution followed NCPR > JPR > NPR, which was consistent with the decreasing order of their chemical reactivities. As the pH decreased from 6.5 to 3.9 the dissolution of PRs increased from 29.3% to 83.5%, from 18.2% to 78.9%, and from 12.5% to 60.3% for NCPR, JPR and NPR, respectively. In contrast, as the soil pH decreased from 6.5 to 3.9, the proportion of the dissolved P extracted by 0.5 M NAHCO3 decreased from 38% to 5% and the proportion taken up by ryegrass plants decreased from 46% to 7%. This decrease in plant available P corresponded to an increase in the adsorption of inorganic P with a decrease in pH. However, the uptake of P from PR relative to that from KH2PO4 was higher at low pH than at high pH. Further, the amount of P taken up by plants was more closely related to the amount of NaHCO3 extractable P than to the amount of dissolved P present in the soil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-134
Number of pages10
JournalFertilizer Research
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1990
Externally publishedYes

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