Relationship between phosphorus concentration in surface runoff and a novel soil phosphorus test procedure (DGT) under simulated rainfall
Dougherty, WJ and Mason, SD and Burkitt, LL and Milham, PJ, Relationship between phosphorus concentration in surface runoff and a novel soil phosphorus test procedure (DGT) under simulated rainfall, Soil Research, 49, (6) pp. 523-528. ISSN 1838-675X (2011) [Refereed Article]
There is a need to be able to identify soils with the potential to generate high concentrations of phosphorus (P) in runoff, and a need to predict these concentrations for modelling and risk-assessment purposes. Attempts to use agronomic soil tests such as Colwell P for such purposes have met with limited success. In this research, we examined the relationships between a novel soil P test (diffuse gradients in thin films, DGT), Colwell P, P buffering index PBI), and runoff P concentrations. Soils were collected from six sites with a diverse range of soil P buffering properties, incubated for 9 months with a wide range of P additions, and then subjected to rainfall simulation in repacked trays growing pasture. For all soil and P treatment combinations, the relationship between DGT (0–10 mm) and runoff P was highly significant (P < 0.001, r2 = 0.84). Although there were significant curvilinear relationships between Colwell P and runoff P for individual soils, there were large differences in these relationships between soils. However, the inclusion of a P buffering
measure (PBI) as an explanatory variable resulted in a highly significant model (P < 0.001, R2 = 0.82) that explained between-soil variability. We conclude that either DGT, or Colwell P and PBI, can be used to provide a relative measure of runoff P concentration.