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Overestimation of Phosphorus Adsorption Capacity in Reduced Soils: An Artifact of Typical Batch Adsorption Experiments



Overestimation of Phosphorus Adsorption Capacity in Reduced Soils: An Artifact of Typical Batch Adsorption Experiments



Soil Science Society of America journal- 71(4): 1128-1136



Although soil reduction often results in P release to soil solutions, many researchers have observed an increased maximum P adsorption (Smax) following soil reduction. We hypothesized that this result is an experimental artifact caused by exposure of the reduced soils to aerobic conditions and by the use of high P additions, which may result in precipitation. Four semiarid altered wetland soils were incubated under reduced conditions, followed by reoxidation, and their P-adsorption characteristics were measured under atmospheric and N2-atmosphere conditions. During the reductive incubation, soluble P and Fe concentrations increased. In one of the soils, P and Fe were monitored after reoxidation and both were found to decrease. The reduction-reoxidation cycle has led to increased Smax values. Under an N2 atmosphere, the equilibrium P concentrations at zero adsorption (EPC0) of all soils were higher than those determined under atmospheric conditions, whereas no significant changes were observed in Smax values. Oversaturation of the equilibrating solutions with respect to P minerals suggested P precipitation and overestimation of Smax at high added P concentrations under both aerobic and N2-atmosphere conditions. We conclude that aerobic batch experiments of reduced soils are affected by P adsorption to newly in-tube-formed ferric oxides. In accordance, we stress the importance of the EPC0 rather than the Smax as an informative measure of P adsorption, and the need for using low-P experiments and maintaining anaerobic conditions in evaluating P adsorption of reduced soils.

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Accession: 016590420

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DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2006.0222



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