Soil phosphorus forms along a strong nutrient gradient in a tropical ombrotrophic wetland

Cheesman, Alexander W., Turner, Benjamin L., and Reddy, K. Ramesh (2012) Soil phosphorus forms along a strong nutrient gradient in a tropical ombrotrophic wetland. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 76 (4). pp. 1496-1506.

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Abstract

Phosphorus cycling influences productivity and diversity in tropical wetlands, yet little is known about the forms of P found in the accreting organic matter of these ecosystems. We used alkaline (NaOH-ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid [EDTA]) extraction and solution P-31 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to characterize P in surface soils across a strong nutrient gradient within a tropical ombrotrophic peat dome. From the interior bog plain to the marginal Raphia taedigera swamp, total soil P increased from 14.6 to 70.9 g m(-3) and resin-extractable P from 0.1 to 30 mg kg(-1). Phosphatase activity declined across the same transect (364-46 mu mol methylumbelliferone kg(-1) min(-1)), indicating an increase in P availability toward the periphery of the wetland. Organic P identified by solution 31P NMR spectroscopy included phosphomonoesters (12-17%), phosphodiesters (10-14%), and phosphonates (up to 3.3% of total P). Inositol phosphates were not detected in these acidic peats. Inorganic P forms included orthophosphate (9-25% of total P), pyrophosphate (up to 3%), and long-chain polyphosphates; the latter occurred in concentrations (up to 24% of total soil P) considerably higher than previously found in wetland soils. The concentration of residual (unextractable) P was similar among sites (mean 280 mg kg(-1)), resulting in an increase in its proportion of the total soil P from 29% at the P-rich margins to 55% at the P-poor interior. This is the first information on the P composition of tropical wetland soils and provides a basis for further study of the cycling and contribution of P forms to the nutrition of plants and microorganisms.

Item ID: 35623
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1435-0661
Funders: U.S. Department of Agriculture, University of Florida
Projects and Grants: U.S. Department of Agriculture CSREES 2004-35107-14918
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2014 15:54
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050304 Soil Chemistry (excl Carbon Sequestration Science) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9614 Soils > 961401 Coastal and Estuarine Soils @ 100%
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