The effects of phosphate on zinc sorption by a soil

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Zinc sorption curves were obtained after treatment of a soil with several rates of phosphate and with two rates of lime. The lime permitted evaluation of the effects of phosphate on Zn sorption via its effects on pH. The phosphate was either incubated with the soil at a high temperature before reaction with Zn or was supplied at the same time as the Zn. This produced treatments with similar concentration of phosphate in solution but different amounts of sorbed phosphate. Two distinct effects of phosphate addition on Zn sorption were detected. One arose from effects of phosphate on pH. This effect could be large and could either increase or decrease Zn sorption depending on the direction of the pH effect. A second effect was correlated with the amount of sorbed phosphate and was assumed to operate through the effects of phosphate on charge. The effects were small at low levels of Zn but larger at higher levels. This suggested that Zn and phosphate were sorbed at opposite ends of a spectrum of electrostatic potentials and overlap only occurred when the level of application was high. A third possible effect, due to reaction of the soil with zinc phosphate complexes in solution, was not proved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-459
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Soil Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1987


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