Space and time‐resolved monitoring of phosphorus release from a fertilizer pellet and its mobility in soil using microdialysis and X‐ray computed tomography

Chiara Petroselli, Katherine A. Williams, Arpan Ghosh, Daniel Mckay Fletcher, Siul A. Ruiz, Tiago Gerheim Souza Dias, Callum P. Scotson, Tiina Roose*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for crops. Precise spatiotemporal application of P fertilizer can improve plant P acquisition and reduce run-off losses of P. Optimizing application would benefit from understanding the dynamics of P release from a fertilizer pellet into bulk soil, which requires space- and time-resolved measurements of P concentration in soil solutions. In this study, we combined microdialysis and X-ray computed tomography to investigate P transport in soil. Microdialysis probes enabled repeated solute sampling from one location with minimal physical disturbance, and their small dimensions permitted spatially resolved monitoring. We observed a rapid initial release of P from the source, producing high dissolved P concentrations within the first 24 h, followed by a decrease in dissolved P over time compatible with adsorption onto soil particles. Soils with greater bulk density (i.e., reduced soil porosity) impeded the P pulse movement, which resulted in a less homogeneous distribution of total P in the soil column at the end of the experiment. The model fit to the data showed that the observed phenomena can be explained by diffusion and adsorption. The results showed that compared with conventional measurement techniques (e.g., suction cups), microdialysis measurements present a less invasive alternative. The time-resolved measurements ultimately highlighted rapid P dynamics that require more attention for improving P use efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-183
Number of pages12
JournalSoil Science Society of America Journal
Volume85
Issue number1
Early online date21 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • UKRI
  • NERC
  • NE/L00237/1
  • BBSRC
  • BB/L025620/1
  • BB/P004180/1
  • EPSRC
  • EP/M020355/1

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