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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT AND USE OF ANIMAL MANURE TO PROTECT HUMAN HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Location: Food Animal Environmental Systems Research Unit

Title: Seasonal changes in phosphorus and phosphatase compositions in soils enriched with poultry litter

Authors
item Mankolo, Regine - ALABAMA A&M
item Sistani, Karamat
item Senwo, Zachary - ALABAMA A&M
item Ranatunga, Thilini - ALABAMA A&M

Submitted to: Journal of Food Agriculture and Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 28, 2008
Publication Date: October 2, 2008
Repository URL: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/catalog/31128
Citation: Mankolo, R.N., Sistani, K.R., Senwo, Z.N., Ranatunga, T.D. 2008. Seasonal changes in phosphorus and phosphatase compositions in soils enriched with poultry litter. Journal of Food Agriculture and Environment. Vol.6 (3&4):415-420 July-October 2008

Interpretive Summary: Soil moisture, temperature, and microbial activity play an important role in phosphorus (P) availability in soil. Poultry industries generate million tons of waste per year associated with the intensification of high demand for poultry products. Therefore, any mismanagement or long-term application of poultry manure on agricultural lands may lead to P transport through soil erosion and surface runoff to water bodies with subsequent decrease in water quality by accelerating eutrophication. Long-term application of poultry litter may result in P accumulation in soils above crop requirements. This study was conducted to quantify P fractions and enzymatic activity from poultry litter (PL) application as affected by soil depth and time of application. Results showed that different forms of P were significantly affected by season and soil depth. Phosphorus fractions varied within season and soil depth with less P measured on the topsoil for early spring application. There was little P movement down to 10 cm depth. Enzyme activities were affected by the soil depth in the first year but no significant differences occurred in the second year. The P enzyme activity, although related to P availability does not offer greater benefits in predicting soil P.

Technical Abstract: Season and soil depth may play an important role in phosphorus (P) dynamics and mineralization in soil because of changes in soil moisture, temperature and microbial activity. This study was conducted to quantify P fractions and enzymatic activity from poultry litter (PL) application as affected by soil depth and time of application. Poultry Litter applied at the rate of 15.75 Mg ha-1 yr-1 based on N requirement of bermudagrass for maximum growth. Phosphorus distribution among different factions (A1-, Fe- and Ca-bound; organic P and residual) was extracted sequentially. Results showed that P fractions were significantly affected by season and soil depth (P<0.01). Phosphorus fractions varied within season and soil depth with less P measured on the topsoil for early spring application. There was little P movement down to 10 cm depth. Enzyme activities were affected by the soil depth the first year but no significant differences occurred in the second year. The smallest enzyme activity of 3.3 mg p- nitrophenol kg-1 soil h-1 was recorded with alkaline phosphatase in cool weather. Phosphatase activity, although related to P availability does not offer grater benefits in predicting soil P. Based on our analysis the concentration of P on the soil surface does not pose environmental concerns as related to the time of PL application for the short length of this study.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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