Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 107, Issue 2, pp 265–277 | Cite as

Estimating the potential to reduce potassium surplus in intensive vegetable fields of China

Original Article

Abstract

Potassium (K) is important for crop quality, and this knowledge has stimulated substantial K fertilizer application in intensive cropping systems of China, resulting in an unbalanced nutrient supply and the squandering of K resources. In this study, we assessed the status of K in China’s intensive vegetable planting systems using data from the literature and our recent results. Scenario analysis was designed to estimate the potential for reducing chemical K fertilizer based on the K recommended strategy and manure replacement strategies. The results showed that K surplus, and soil exchangeable K levels in vegetable fields increased during the period with a stable growing area (2003–) compared to the period with an expanding growing area (before 2003). Much higher K surplus and accumulation and more severe K leaching were observed in greenhouse. Excessive K application contributed to low K use efficiency and K resource waste. Based on the data analysis, the K consumption derived from chemical fertilizer and organic amendments was 8.2 million Mg K, though the theoretical demand for vegetable planting was only 6.0 million Mg K with the K recommendation strategy of “build-up and maintenance (B&M)”. Scenario analysis suggested that chemical K fertilizer application could be reduced by 21.7, 69.6 and 54.3% by considering alternative K sources derived from manure and straw, as based on the conventional proportion, N-based strategy and P-based strategy, respectively. Maximizing the use of K from organic amendments requires limiting manure application by considering environmental deterioration and the topdressing requirement with chemical K fertilizer.

Keywords

Potassium surplus Vegetable Reducing potential Organic amendment Replacing Chemical fertilizer 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We appreciate the financial support from the Modern Agricultural Industry Technology System of Beijing Innovation Team Project (BAIC01-2016).

Supplementary material

10705_2017_9835_MOESM1_ESM.docx (387 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 385 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Resources and Environmental SciencesChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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