DIVISION S-8—NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT & SOIL & PLANT ANALYSIS
Phosphorus Availability in an Artificially Flooded Southeastern Floodplain Forest Soil
R. B. Wrighta, B. G. Lockabyb and M. R. Walbridge*,c
a Environmental Science and Public Policy Program, MS 5F2, George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
b School of Forestry, Auburn Univ., Auburn Univ., AL 36849
c Environmental Science and Public Policy Program, MS 5F2, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
* Corresponding author (email@example.com
Studies of how flooding affects P availability in natural floodplains are rare. We examined the effects of artificial flooding on P availability in a Georgia floodplain forest. We hypothesized that P availability would increase with flooding, because of the flooding-induced solubilization of phosphate minerals. Field mesocosms (n = 4 per treatment) were flooded with river water according to one of four treatments over 6 mo: (i) continuously flooded; (ii) flooded for 3 mo and then drained; (iii) flooded for 2 mo, drained for 1 mo, and repeated; and (iv) nonflooded control. Two additional sets of 3-mo flooded–drained mesocosms (n = 4 per set) received added P or N (1 and 10 mg L-1, respectively) with flooding. Soils were collected monthly from both inside and outside of the mesocosms and analyzed by Hedley fractionation; anion-exchange resins (AER) were used to estimate P availability in situ. As indexed by daily supply to AER, P availability was significantly greater in flooded versus control soils, and decreased significantly following drainage, in all treatments at some time during the study. Total P supply to AER was significantly greater in flooded versus control mesocosms regardless of treatment. No significant changes were observed in Fe/Al phosphate fractions. Microbial P was significantly lower in flooded versus control mesocosms during the first 3 mo of flooding and decreased significantly over time in two treatments. In this natural floodplain, biological processes are a more probable explanation for flooding-induced increases in P availability than solubilization of mineral phosphates.
Abbreviations: AER, anion-exchange resins • CF, continuously flooded treatment • dwe, dry weight equivalent • FD, flooded–drained treatment • LOI, loss on ignition • kp, microbial biomass P recovery rate • MC, mesocosm control • NaOH I, the first NaOH extraction in the Hedley fractionation scheme • NaOH II, a second NaOH extraction after ultrasonification of soil particles • NC, nonmesocosm control • +N, flooded–drained treatment with N additions • OM, organic matter • PF, periodically flooded treatment • +P, flooded–drained treatment with P additions • Pi, inorganic P • Po, organic P • Pt, total P
Soil Science Society of America Journal 65:1293-1302 (2001).