Phosphorus mobility and behavior in soils treated with calcium, ammonium, and magnesium phosphates

Carlos A.C. Do Nascimento, Paulo H. Pagliari, Letícia de A. Faria, Godofredo C. Vitti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The fertilizer industry has attempted to increase P mobility and lability after fertilizer application by using nonconventional phosphates or by including additives in the fertilizer formulation. We incubated granular monoammonium phosphate (MAP), sulfur-coated MAP, humic acid-coated MAP, triple superphosphate (TSP), ammonium potassium polyphosphate (AkPP), and ammonium magnesium phosphate (struvite) with soils from the United States and Brazil in Petri dishes for 56 d. We estimated P mobility by measuring P movement away from fertilizer granules and assessed P lability through sequential chemical fractionation of soil collected from the dishes. In addition, we monitored the change in soil pH with distance from fertilizer placed in the Petri dish. Soil pH changed in response to fertilizer additions as a function of initial soil pH. In fertilized soils, the soil pH response followed a quadratic function as the distance from the fertilizer placement site increased. Soil characteristics influenced P mobility, with mobility decreasing from the Hubbard (12% clay; pH 5.3), to Brazil (20% clay; pH 6.5), to normania (22% clay; pH 5.5), and then Barnes (31% clay; pH 8.0) soil. The use of MAP-based fertilizers resulted in the greatest mobility, while struvite provided the lowest mobility. In contrast, struvite granules dissolved the least resulting in the highest labile P concentrations, due to direct extraction of fertilizer P from undissolved granules (average of 73% of applied P). Comparatively, TSP provided the lowest amount of labile P (average of 52% applied P). Sulfur and humic acid-coated MAP had no effect on P lability or mobility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-631
Number of pages10
JournalSoil Science Society of America Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The present work was carried out with the support of CNPq, National Council of Scientific and Technological Development-Brazil (Process number 249092/2013-1).

Publisher Copyright:
© Soil Science Society of America.


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