Chemical and textural controls on phosphorus mobility in drylands of southeastern Utah

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We investigated several forms of phosphorus (P) in dryland soils to examine the chemical and textural controls on P stabilization on a diverse set of substrates. We examined three P fractions including labile, moderately labile, and occluded as determined by a modified Hedley fractionation technique. The P fractions were compared to texture measurements and total elemental concentrations determined by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). Labile P related to the absence of materials involved in P sorption. Moderately labile P was most strongly associated with high total Al & Fe content that we interpret to represent oxides and 1:1 clay minerals. The occluded P fraction was strongly associated with low total Al & Fe environments and interpreted to represent 2:1 clay minerals where ligand exchange tightly sequesters P. The results indicate that the controls on P fraction distribution are initially closely tied to the chemical and physical properties of the bedrock units that contribute to soil formation. Further, these results suggest that the progression of stabilized P forms in dryland areas differs from the progression observed in mesic environments. Soil development in dryland settings, such as the formation of pedogenic carbonates, may lead to differing controls on P availability and the proportional size of the moderately labile fraction.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Chemical and textural controls on phosphorus mobility in drylands of southeastern Utah
Series title Biogeochemistry
DOI 10.1007/s10533-010-9408-7
Volume 100
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Description 16 p.
First page 105
Last page 120
Country United States
State Utah
Other Geospatial Canyonlands National Park
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