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Title: Methods of Phosphorus Analysis for Soils, Sediments, Residuals, and Waters-Revised Edition

item Kovar, John

Submitted to: Southern Cooperative Series Bulletin
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/19/2009
Publication Date: 7/1/2009
Citation: Kovar, J.L., Pierzynski, G.M. 2009. Methods of Phosphorus Analysis for Soils, Sediments, Residuals, and Waters-Revised Edition. Southern Cooperative Series Bulletin. Available:

Interpretive Summary: Non-point phosphorus (P) losses from agricultural sources have affected surface water quality and created a need for more and better information on methods of P analysis for soil, water, and residual materials. Cycling of inorganic and organic P in soils and waters is very complicated, so this manual was developed to provide a standard set of analytical methods that will enable uniform comparison of P data across county, state, regional, and even national boundaries. This publication documents in detail the analytical methods available and their recommended uses. Some information on interpretation is also provided. The methods presented in this manual will be a valuable reference for any private or public laboratory that analyzes soil, water, or residual materials, such as animal manure, for P content.

Technical Abstract: The relative contribution of phosphorus (P) from agricultural nonpoint sources to surface water quality problems has increased in recent years as point sources of P have been reduced significantly. Phosphorus contributes to eutrophication, a process characterized by increased growth of undesirable algae and aquatic weeds, followed by oxygen shortages as the biomass decomposes. Eutrophication restricts water use for fisheries, recreation, industry, and human consumption. The focus of attention on P has increased the demand for information on methods of analysis of soil, water, and residual materials for environmentally relevant forms of P. The purpose of this publication is to present these methods in a single document. Previously, the methods have appeared across a wide variety of documents or only in the scientific literature. It is not the intent of this publication to define a uniform set of recommended methods for agronomic soils tests or for testing water and residual materials. The methods presented in this manual are intended solely to provide a set of uniform testing methods for environmental scientists working across an enormous range of soil and climatic conditions, with the hope that comparable methods may lead to improved communication and understanding of this complex issue.