Phosphorus fertilization by active dust deposition in a super-humid, temperate environment – Soil phosphorus fractionation and accession processes
The inventory of soil phosphorus (P) is subject to significant changes over time. The main primary form, bedrock-derived apatite P, becomes progressively lost through leaching, or transformed into more immobile and less plant-accessible, secondary organic and mineral forms. Here we studied the rejuvenating effect of dust deposition on soil P along an active dust flux gradient downwind of a braided river. Along the gradient, we measured soil P fractions to 50 cm depth of six Spodosols and one Inceptisol, supplemented by tree foliage P concentrations. While an increasing dust flux correlates with a twofold increase of foliar P and soil organic P along the gradient, apatite P declines from ~50 to 3 g m⁻² and total P shows no response. Compared to dust-unaffected Spodosols, depth distribution of total P becomes increasingly uniform and organic P propagates deeper into the soil under dust flux. Further, the effect of topsoil P eluviation attenuates due to higher organic P content and the zone of high apatite P concentrations associated with un-weathered subsoil becomes progressively removed from the upper 50 cm. We interpret these patterns as being consistent with upbuilding pedogenesi and conclude that dust-derived mineral P is assimilated in the organic surface horizon and does not reach the mineral soil. Dust-derived mineral P is temporarily stored in the living biomass and returns to the soil with plant and microbial detritus as organic P, which is subsequently buried by further dust increments. We further conclude that (1) the efficiency of P fertilization of the ecosystem by dust accession is higher than through P advection in dust-unaffected Spodosols and (2) organic P may serve as an important source of labile P in a high-leaching environment. ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordssoil phosphorus; dust deposition; biosphere/atmosphere interactions; upbuilding pedogenesis; New Zealand; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
Fields of Research0503 Soil Sciences; 0401 Atmospheric Sciences; 0402 Geochemistry; 0405 Oceanography
©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.