Phosphorus in surface runoff and soil water following fertilization of afforested cutaway peatlands

Florence Renou-Wilson, Edward Farrell
2007 unpublished
Farrell, e. P. 2007: Phosphorus in surface runoff and soil water following fertilization of afforested cutaway peatlands. Boreal Env. Res. 12: 693-709. This study retraced the fate of phosphorus (P) applied to various types of afforested cutaway peatlands and examined the spatial and temporal trends in the concentration of soluble molybdate reactive phosphorus (MRP) in surface runoff water and soil water. Edaphic characteristics had a critical role to play in the occurrence of P loss. The
more » ... f P loss. The occurrence and magnitude of P loss also depended on the rate and method of application of the fertilizer and transport factors such as surface runoff, which is directly related to hydrological processes and climatic conditions. Due to low P-binding capacity, immediate P loss is inevitable from newly fertilized deep peat unless edaphic properties can be altered, e.g. by mixing the peat with calcareous sub-peat mineral soil. P loss can be reduced by (1) applying the initial fertilizer in band rather than broadcast, (2) splitting in two applications and applying the minimum rate of fertilizer necessary at planting, and (3) establishing a vegetation cover. The fate of lost P is still unknown as low MRP concentrations were recorded in the drain water two years after fertilization. Finally, P losses have been confirmed to be temporary as no P losses were recorded in plantations which had been established and fertilized ten years previously.
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