Plant and Soil

, Volume 320, Issue 1–2, pp 141–151 | Cite as

The difference of potassium dynamics between yellowish red soil and yellow cinnamon soil under rapeseed (Brassica napus L.)–rice (Oryza sativa L.) rotation

  • Xiaokun Li
  • Jianwei Lu
  • Lishu Wu
  • Fang Chen
Regular Article


To increase the use efficiency of potassium (K) fertilizer, special attention was paid to the dynamics of soil K in the root zone and non-root zone. Difference in K dynamics between yellowish red soil and yellow cinnamon soil under rapeseed (Brassica napus L.)rice (Oryza sativa L.) rotation was studied using a rhizobox system. Results showed that soil water soluble K (Sol-K) and exchangeable K (Ex-K) in the root zone of both soils were reduced in the early stage of rapeseed growth. Along with plant growth and K uptake, soil Sol-K in the inner (0–20 mm to root zone), middle (20–40 mm) and outer (40–60 mm) compartments of the non-root zone of yellowish red soil migrated towards the root zone. As a result, soil Ex-K was transformed into Sol-K. The changes in soil Sol-K and Ex-K in the non-root zone of yellow cinnamon soil were similar to yellowish red soil, and soil non-exchangeable K (Nonex-K) in the root zone also decreased significantly. In the early stage of rice growth, waterlogging promoted diffusion of soil Sol-K from non-root zone to root zone and transformation of Ex-K into Sol-K. Along with the growth of rice and K uptake, soil Ex-K in each compartment of yellowish red soil decreased significantly. Soil Sol-K and Ex-K in the yellow cinnamon soil declined to a certain extent, and then remained unchanged, while soil Nonex-K kept on decreasing. It revealed that the plants first absorbed K in the root zone, of which K reserve was replenished by a gradual diffusion of K from the non-root zone. The closer to the root zone, the greater the contribution to K uptake by plants. Within one rotation cycle, Ex-K and Sol-K in yellowish red soil were the main forms of K available to the plants, and little Nonex-K could be absorbed. However, in the yellow cinnamon soil, Nonex-K was the main form of K available to the plants, followed by Ex-K and Sol-K.


Non-root zone Potassium Rhizobox Rhizosphere Root zone Soil 



The authors are grateful for grant-aided support from the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40571090) and the financial support from International Plant Nutrition Institute. The authors also gratefully acknowledge Dr. Saman Seneweera (The University of Melbourne, Australia), Dr. Adrian M. Johnston (Vice President, Asia & Oceania Group, International Plant Nutrition Institute) and anonymous reviewers for their editing on this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Resources and EnvironmentHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Wuhan Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina

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