Analysis Methods for the Determination of Anthropogenic Additions of P to Agricultural Soils


Phosphorus loading and measurement is of concern on lands where biosolids have been applied. Traditional soil testing for plant-available P may be inadequate for the accurate assessment of P loadings in a regulatory environment as the reported levels may not correlate well with environmental risk. In order to accurately assess potential P runoff and leaching, as well as plant uptake, we must be able to measure organic P mineralized by the biotic community in the soil. Soils with varying rates of biosolid application were evaluated for mineralized organic P during a 112-day incubation using the difference between P measured using a rapid-flow analyzer (RFA) and an axial flow Varian ICP-OES. An increase in the P mineralized from the treated soils was observed from analysis with the Varian ICP-OES, but not with the RFA. These results confirm that even though organic P concentrations have increased due to increasing biosolid application, traditional soil testing using an RFA for detection, would not accurately portray P concentration and potential P loading from treated soils.

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Haney, R. , Jin, V. , Johnson, M. , Haney, E. , Harmel, R. , Arnold, J. and White, M. (2015) Analysis Methods for the Determination of Anthropogenic Additions of P to Agricultural Soils. Open Journal of Soil Science, 5, 59-68. doi: 10.4236/ojss.2015.52007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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