Soil solution phosphorus turnover: derivation, interpretation, and insights from a global compilation of isotope exchange kinetic studies

Helfenstein, Julian; Jegminat, Jannes; McLaren, Timothy I.; Frossard, Emmanuel

The exchange rate of inorganic phosphorus (P) between the soil solution and solid phase, also known as soil solution P turnover, is essential for describing the kinetics of bioavailable P. While soil solution P turnover (inline-formulaKm) can be determined by tracing radioisotopes in a soil–solution system, few studies have done so. We believe that this is due to a lack of understanding on how to derive inline-formulaKm from isotopic exchange kinetic (IEK) experiments, a common form of radioisotope dilution study. Here, we provide a derivation of calculating inline-formulaKm using parameters obtained from IEK experiments. We then calculated inline-formulaKm for 217 soils from published IEK experiments in terrestrial ecosystems, and also that of 18 long-term P fertilizer field experiments. Analysis of the global compilation data set revealed a negative relationship between concentrations of soil solution P and inline-formulaKm. Furthermore, inline-formulaKm buffered isotopically exchangeable P in soils with low concentrations of soil solution P. This finding was supported by an analysis of long-term P fertilizer field experiments, which revealed a negative relationship between inline-formulaKm and phosphate-buffering capacity. Our study highlights the importance of calculating inline-formulaKm for understanding the kinetics of P between the soil solid and solution phases where it is bioavailable. We argue that our derivation can also be used to calculate soil solution turnover of other environmentally relevant and strongly sorbing elements that can be traced with radioisotopes, such as zinc, cadmium, nickel, arsenic, and uranium.

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Helfenstein, Julian / Jegminat, Jannes / McLaren, Timothy I. / et al: Soil solution phosphorus turnover: derivation, interpretation, and insights from a global compilation of isotope exchange kinetic studies. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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