Phosphorus desorption from calcareous soils with different initial Olsen-P levels and relation to phosphate fractions

  • Yan Shen
  • Yinghua Duan
  • Neil McLaughlin
  • Shaomin Huang
  • Doudou Guo
  • Minggang XuEmail author
Soils, Sec 3 • Remediation and Management of Contaminated or Degraded Lands • Research Article



Calcareous soils are characterized by high pH and phosphorus (P) fixation capacity. Increasing application of P fertilizer recently has significantly improved soil P concentration, especially available P (Olsen-P) and inorganic phosphate (Pi) fractions. However, there are few data available on the ability of soils with different initial Olsen-P levels to continuously supply P (i.e., P desorption capacity) to crops without additional P fertilization and on which Pi fraction exerts the greatest influence on P desorption capacity.

Materials and methods

Five soils with different initial Olsen-P levels (0.5, 14.3, 38.4, 55.4, 72.3 mg kg−1, hereafter refer as OP1, OP2, OP3, OP4, and OP5) but similar other soil properties were selected to evaluate the capacity of P desorption and its relationship with Pi fractions. Soil P was sequentially extracted once daily for 16 consecutive days using Olsen solution.

Results and discussion

The content and proportions of dicalcium phosphate fraction (Ca2-P), octacalcium phosphate fraction (Ca8-P), aluminum phosphorus fraction (Al-P), and iron phosphorus fraction (Fe-P) in Pi increased significantly with the increase of initial Olsen-P (P < 0.01). Applied P fertilizer was mostly stored as Ca8-P in the soil. Soil P desorbed reached an equilibrium after 16 extractions for all soils, and P desorption capacity (12–358 mg kg−1) showed a significant linear relationship with initial Olsen-P (P < 0.01), with an increase of 4.2 mg kg−1 desorbed P per 1 mg kg−1 increase of initial Olsen-P. Ca2-P exerted the conclusive effect on P desorption in the first four extractions, but Ca8-P played a more important role in the 16 extractions.


Ca8-P was the greatest potential pool for P desorption after Ca2-P was depleted. P desorption capacity was significantly linearly related to initial Olsen-P (P < 0.01). Different fertilizer use strategies were developed based on P desorption capacity for soils with different initial Olsen-P levels. The present study provided basic data on how to reduce effectively the application amount of chemical P fertilizer.


Calcareous soil Desorption capacity Inorganic phosphorus fraction Olsen-P Phosphorus 



This research was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0200301) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41601238).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yan Shen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yinghua Duan
    • 1
  • Neil McLaughlin
    • 3
  • Shaomin Huang
    • 4
  • Doudou Guo
    • 4
  • Minggang Xu
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Chinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesInstitute of Agricultural Resources and Regional PlanningBeijingChina
  2. 2.Chinese Academy of SciencesNortheast Institute of Geography and AgroecologyChangchunChina
  3. 3.Ottawa Research and Development CentreAgriculture and Agri-Food CanadaOttawaCanada
  4. 4.Henan Academy of Agricultural SciencesInstitute of Plant Nutrient and Environmental ResourcesZhengzhouChina
  5. 5.Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural SciencesSouth Subtropical Crops Research InstituteZhanjiangChina

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