A global dataset on phosphorus in agricultural soils

Journal Article
Numerous drivers such as farming practices, erosion, land-use change, and soil biogeochemical background, determine the global spatial distribution of phosphorus (P) in agricultural soils. Here, we revised an approach published earlier (called here GPASOIL-v0), in which several global datasets describing these drivers were combined with a process model for soil P dynamics to reconstruct the past and current distribution of P in cropland and grassland soils. The objective of the present update, called GPASOIL-v1, is to incorporate recent advances in process understanding about soil inorganic P dynamics, in datasets to describe the different drivers, and in regional soil P measurements for benchmarking. We trace the impact of the update on the reconstructed soil P. After the update we estimate a global averaged inorganic labile P of 187 kgP ha‾¹ for cropland and 91 kgP ha‾¹ for grassland in 2018 for the top 0–0.3 m soil layer, but these values are sensitive to the mineralization rates chosen for the organic P pools. Uncertainty in the driver estimates lead to coefficients of variation of 0.22 and 0.54 for cropland and grassland, respectively. This work makes the methods for simulating the agricultural soil P maps more transparent and reproducible than previous estimates, and increases the confidence in the new estimates, while the evaluation against regional dataset still suggests rooms for further improvement.