Removal of Carbonates and Organic Matter from Soil Influences Phosphorous Sorption in Calcareous Soil of Kerman Province

The availability of the applied phosphorus (P) is controlled by sorption-desorption reactions in soil. Since the sorption-desorption reactions are affected by physical and chemical properties of the soil, the presence of organic matter (OM) and carbonates can also effect on the P sorption capacity in soil. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of OM and carbonates on phosphorus sorption isotherms in some calcareous soils of Kerman province.

Materials and Methods

Six surface soil composite samples (0-30) were collected from Kerman Province located in southeast of Iran. The soils with a wide range of OM and calcium carbonate were selected for sampling. Samples were air dried and passed through a sieve of 2 mm. Physicochemical properties of the soil samples were determined according to the Soil Survey Laboratory Manual. Thereafter, the soil samples were divided into three parts. One portion was used for treatment with sodium hypochlorite to remove organic matter. The second part was treated with sodium acetate buffer (pH = 5) to remove carbonates. The third was used as a control without any treatment. Batch experiments were carried out to determinthe P-sorption isotherms in soil. The sorption behavior of P was studied by Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models. All experiments were conducted in three replications.

Results and Discussion

The results showed that organic matter and equivalent calcium carbonate, removed from the studied soils with an average efficiency of 86.7% and 84.9%, respectively. Although the isotherms data showed that both Langmuir and Freundlich equations fits to data,Langmuir equation with higher mean of correlation coefficient (R2=0.982) and lower standard error (0.022) showed the best fit to P-sorption data for all soil samples (with and without treatment). Removal of organic matter by sodium hypochlorite increased the phosphorus adsorption capacity in the studied soils. After removal of soil organic matter, an increase in phosphorus adsorption capacity in the studied soils. With respect to control, removing the organic matter increased the adsorption capacity parameters (qmax and kf) about 37 to 104 and 11 to 23, respectively. These results indicate that Fe- and Al-oxides and other available adsorption sites on the mineral surfaces are coated by organic matter and are activated after removal of OM. Removal of carbonates from the soil significantly reduced the P-sorption capacity. qmax and kf were decreased by 17% and 32%, respectively, compared to untreated soils. It is, therefore suggested that available P adsorbing surfaces decreases by removing carbonates from the soil.Constants related with bonding energy increased by 17.03% and decreased by 28.78% by removal of OM and calcium carbonate, respectively. The P maximum buffering capacity is an important indicator for assessing phosphorus stabilization capacity in soil. The greater P buffering capacity, the fewer ability of phosphorus replacement to soil solution. After removal of carbonates, this parameter decreased by an average of 42.5%. The results suggested that carbonates is an important factor in availability of phosphorus in soil. The required phosphorus standard increased by 14.43% by removing OM in the studied soils. However, the removal of carbonates reduced the need of soil for phosphorus by 40.5%.


In this study was investigated the effect of removing organic matter and carbonates on phosphorus sorption isotherms in some calcareous soils of Kerman province. The results of this study showed that P sorption capacity is affected by the amount of carbonates and organic matter. Removal of organic matter from the soil increased the sorption capacity of phosphorus due to Fe- and Al-oxides. Other available adsorption sites on the mineral surface which are coated by the organic matter are active. Carbonates is known as an active site for maintaining phosphorus in the soil and its removal from soils reduces the phosphorus adsorption capacity. Applying/Preserving organic matters to/in soil can increases the efficiency of phosphate fertilizer application and improves plant nutrition. The removal of carbonates from the studied soils reduced their need for phosphorus. Therefore, as well as the addition of organic matter to soil, the removal or reduction of carbonates from agricultural soils is important for improving phosphorus utilization efficiency and plant nutrition management.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Journal of water and soil, Volume:34 Issue: 3, 2020
637 - 648  
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