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Effect of variable soil phosphorus on phosphorus concentrations in simulated surface runoff under intensive dairy pastures


Burkitt, LL and Dougherty, WJ and Carlson, SM and Donaghy, DJ, Effect of variable soil phosphorus on phosphorus concentrations in simulated surface runoff under intensive dairy pastures, Australian Journal of Soil Research, 48, (3) pp. 231-237. ISSN 0004-9573 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2010 CSIRO

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DOI: doi:10.1071/SR09025


Intensive dairy operations in Australia regularly apply P fertiliser to maintain productive pasture species. However, extractable soil test P (STP) concentrations in this industry commonly exceed those required to maximise pasture production, a situation which can increase the risk of P loss to surrounding waterways. The current study examined relationships between STP (Olsen P and CaCl2 P) and surface runoff P concentrations from a red silty loam (Ferrosol), commonly used for pasture production in south-eastern Australia. Soil was mixed and re-packed into soil trays and a rainfall simulator was used to generate surface runoff. A wide range of soil Olsen P concentrations (020 mm, 15724 mg/kg; 0100 mm, 9166 mg/kg) was created by surface-applying a range of P fertiliser rates 8 months before the rainfall simulations. A comparison of the 2 STP methods suggests that Australian soils have higher labile P concentrations for given Olsen P concentrations compared with those measured internationally, suggesting a greater likelihood of P loss in runoff. Furthermore, significant curvilinear relationships between STP and dissolved reactive P (DRP <0.45 m) in surface runoff for both Olsen P depths (020 mm, r2 = 0.94; 0100 mm, r2 = 0.91; P < 0.01) were determined, as well as significant linear relationships between DRP and both CaCl2 depths (020 mm, r2 = 0.83; 0100 mm, r2 = 0.92; P < 0.01). This confirmed that the concentrations of P in surface runoff increased with increasing STP, providing further evidence of an urgent need to reduce excessive STP concentrations, to reduce the risk of P loss to the environment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Soil sciences
Research Field:Soil chemistry and soil carbon sequestration (excl. carbon sequestration science)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial systems and management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Burkitt, LL (Dr Lucy Burkitt)
UTAS Author:Carlson, SM (Mr Scott Carlson)
UTAS Author:Donaghy, DJ (Associate Professor Danny Donaghy)
ID Code:53969
Year Published:2010
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP0455221)
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2009-02-03
Last Modified:2011-04-13
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