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An investigation of the distribution of phosphorus between free and mineral associated soil organic matter, using density fractionation

Adams, Jessica L.; Tipping, Edward; Thacker, Sarah A.; Quinton, John N.. 2017 An investigation of the distribution of phosphorus between free and mineral associated soil organic matter, using density fractionation. Plant and Soil. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-017-3478-4

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Abstract/Summary

Aims: We investigated whether density fractionation can be used to determine the distribution of organic phosphorus (OP) between free and mineral-associated soil organic matter (SOM). Methods: We performed density fractionations using sodium polytungstate solution (specific gravity 1.6 g cm−3) on 20 soils from UK semi-natural and pasture ecosystems, to obtain a light fraction (LF) and a heavy fraction (HF) for each soil. The fractions were quantified by weight, and analysed for organic carbon (OC), total N (TN), total P (TP), inorganic P (IP), and OP (by difference). Results: Good recoveries of soil mass (96%), OC and TN (both ~ 90%) were obtained, but recovery of OP only averaged 56%. The average P:C ratio of HF SOM exceeded that of LF SOM by a factor of six, greater than the factor of two obtained for TN:OC. For the soils studied, the elements of SOM were predominantly in the HF, with averages of 75% for C, 82% for N, and 90% for P. Conclusions: The incomplete recovery of OP demands further work. Nonetheless, the results show that HF SOM is much richer in P than LF SOM.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-017-3478-4
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pollution (Science Area 2017-)
CEH Fellows
ISSN: 0032-079X
Additional Keywords: carbon, density fractionation, nitrogen, phosphorus, soil organic matter, stoichiometry
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 12 Dec 2017 14:06 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/518569

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