Relationships of phosphorus fractions to organic carbon content in surface soils in mature subtropical forests, Dinghushan, China
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Exploring the relationship between the accumulation of soil organic carbon (C) and the form and availability of soil phosphorus (P) is important for improved understanding of soil P availability and its regulation of C storage in forest ecosystems. Here, we investigated the relationships among soil organic C, sequentially extracted P fractions and P sorption index in 32 surface soils (0-0.15 m depth) across eight mature subtropical forests (80-400 years) in Dinghushan, China. Results showed that soil organic P (Po) accounted for 40-63% (mean 54%) of soil total P. Soil organic C was significantly positively correlated with both the content and the percentage of soluble inorganic P (Pi), Al-Po and Fe-Po fractions and the content of the Al-Pi fraction. The content of soil total Po increased significantly with soil organic C, whereas the percentage of soil total Po tended to increase with soil organic C only when soil organic C was low (<30 Mg/ha) but was relatively stable when soil organic C was high (=30 Mg/ha). Moreover, soil organic C was highly correlated with P sorption index. Our results suggest that accumulation of organic C may increase, rather than decrease, the availability of P in surface soil in mature subtropical forests.
Soil Sciences not elsewhere classified