Influence of soil phosphorus and manure on phosphorus leaching in Swedish topsoils

Annika Svanbäck, Barbro Ulén, Ararso Etana, Lars Bergström, Peter J.A. Kleinman, Lennart Mattsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In Sweden, subsurface transport of phosphorus (P) from agricultural soils represents the primary pathway of concern for surface water quality. However, there are mixed findings linking P in leachate with soil P and limited understanding of the interactive effects of applied P sources and soil test P on P leaching potential. Identifying soils that are susceptible to P leaching when manure is applied is critical to management strategies that reduce P loadings to water bodies. Intact soil columns (20 cm deep) from five long-term fertilization trials across Sweden were used in leaching experiments with simulated rainfall to explore the interactive effects of dairy cow (Bos taurus L.) manure application, soil test P and cropping system. Strong relationships were observed between ammonium lactate-extractable P in soil and dissolved reactive P (DRP) concentrations in leachate, although regression slopes varied across soils. For three soils, application of manure (equal to 21-30 kg P ha-1) to the soil columns significantly increased DRP leaching losses. The increase in DRP concentration was correlated to soil test P, but with wide variations between the three soils. For two soils leachate P concentrations after manure addition were independent of soil P status. Despite variable trends in P leaching across the different soils, P concentrations in leachate were always moderate from soils at fertilization rates equivalent to P removal with harvest. Results clearly stress the importance of long-term P balance to limit P leaching losses from Swedish agricultural soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-147
Number of pages15
JournalNutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jul 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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