Olsen-P distribution in a thin Black Chernozem as influenced by fertilizers and crop rotations
Inorganic phosphorus (P) is generally believed to be relatively immobile in Chernozemic soils. However, available P (e.g., Olsen-P) has been found at depth in some soils and this has been postulated to be either the result of leaching or of transportation by plant roots. Legumes, in particular, are believed to be involved in the latter mechanism. A long-term (34-yr) crop rotation study conducted on a heavy clay, thin Black Chernozemic soil at Indian Head, Saskatchewan, was sampled to a depth of 4.5 m in May and September, 1991, to determine the influence of fertilization, cropping frequency, legume green manure and legume-grass hay crops on Olsen-P distribution in the soil profile. The results indicated that Olsen-P may indeed leach in Chernozemic soils, especially when fallow-containing cropping systems are fertilized. It also appeared that deep rooted legumes, such as sweetclover green manure and alfalfa-bromegrass hay crops do increase Olsen-P in the subsoil, possibly through root decomposition in situ or some other mechanism.
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