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Type: Journal article
Title: Clay addition to sandy soil reduces nutrient leaching—effect of clay concentration and ped size
Author: Tahir, S.
Marschner, P.
Citation: Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 2017; 48(15):1813-1821
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 0010-3624
Statement of
Shermeen Tahir and Petra Marschner
Abstract: Leaching of nutrients, particularly in sandy soil with low nutrient and water holding capacity (WHC), is a major threat to marine and fresh water pollution. Addition of clay soil to sandy soil could be an option to increase water and nutrient holding capacity of sandy soils, but the effect of clay soil addition may depend on the form in which the clay soil is added and the addition rate. Clay soil was added to sandy soil at rate of 10 or 20% (w/w) finely ground (<2 mm) or 2 and 5 mm peds with and without nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilizer equivalent to 60 kg N ha−1 and 15 kg P ha−1. The clay sand mixture for each treatment was weighed (30 g) in cores with nylon mesh at the bottom. The soils were incubated at 80% WHC for 7 weeks. To obtain leachate, 20 mL reverse osmosis (RO) water was added every week to each core. Leachate was analysed for inorganic N, P, and pH. Soil was analyzed for N, P, and pH before and after the leaching. Clay addition significantly reduced the leaching of N and P compared to sandy soil alone, with greatest reduction by finely ground clay soil and least with 5 mm peds. Compared to sandy soil alone, 83% more N was retained in clay-amended soil and P retention was doubled. This study showed that addition of finely ground clay soil can substantially reduce N and P leaching and thereby increase fertilizer retention compared to sandy soil alone.
Keywords: Clay soil addition; N and P leaching; nutrient retention
Rights: © 2017 Taylor & Francis
DOI: 10.1080/00103624.2017.1395454
Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications
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