Effects of climate on soil phosphorus cycle and availability in natural terrestrial ecosystems
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Climate is predicted to change over the 21st century. However, little is known about how climate change can affect soil phosphorus (P) cycle and availability in global terrestrial ecosystems, where P is a key limiting nutrient. With a global database of Hedley P fractions and key‐associated physiochemical properties of 760 (seminatural) natural soils compiled from 96 published studies, this study evaluated how climate pattern affected soil P cycle and availability in global terrestrial ecosystems. Overall, soil available P, indexed by Hedley labile inorganic P fraction, significantly decreased with increasing mean annual temperature (MAT) and precipitation (MAP). Hypothesis‐oriented path model analysis suggests that MAT negatively affected soil available P mainly by decreasing soil organic P and primary mineral P and increasing soil sand content. MAP negatively affected soil available P both directly and indirectly through decreasing soil primary mineral P; however, these negative effects were offset by the positive effects of MAP on soil organic P and fine soil particles, resulting in a relatively minor total MAP effect on soil available P. As aridity degree was mainly determined by MAP, aridity also had a relatively minor total effect on soil available P. These global patterns generally hold true irrespective of soil depth (≤10 cm or >10 cm) or site aridity index (≤1.0 or >1.0), and were also true for the low‐sand (≤50%) soils. In contrast, available P of the high‐sand (>50%) soils was positively affected by MAT and aridity and negatively affected by MAP. Our results suggest that temperature and precipitation have contrasting effects on soil P availability and can interact with soil particle size to control soil P availability.
Global Change Biology
Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified