Phosphorus availability of sewage sludge‐based fertilizers determined by the diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) technique

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Vogel, Christian
Sekine, Ryo
Steckenmesser, Daniel
Lombi, Enzo
Steffens, Diedrich
Adam, Christian
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2017
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Abstract

The plant‐availability of phosphorus (P) in fertilizers and soil can strongly influence the yield of agricultural crops. However, there are no methods to efficiently and satisfactorily analyze the plant‐availability of P in sewage sludge‐based P fertilizers except by undertaking time‐consuming and complex pot or field experiments. We employed the diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) technique to quantify the plant P availability of various types of P fertilizers with a novel focus on sewage sludge‐based P fertilizers. Mixtures of fertilizer and soil were incubated for 3 weeks at 60% water holding capacity. DGT devices were deployed at the beginning of the incubation and again after 1, 2, and 3 weeks. Two weeks of incubation were sufficient for the formation of plant‐available P in the fertilizer/soil mixtures. In a pot experiment, the DGT technique predicted maize (Zea mays L.) biomass yield and P uptake significantly more accurately than standard chemical extraction tests for P fertilizers (e.g., water, citric acid, and neutral ammonium citrate). Therefore, the DGT technique can be recommended as a reliable and robust method to screen the performance of different types of sewage sludge‐based P fertilizers for maize cultivation minimizing the need for time‐consuming and costly pot or field experiments.

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Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science
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180
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5
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© 2017. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher, Wiley. Please refer to the journal's website, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jpln.201600531 for access to the definitive, published version.
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Crop and pasture production
Soil sciences
Soil sciences not elsewhere classified
Plant biology
Chemical extraction tests
Phosphate recovery
Plant growth experiments
P recycling
Soil testing
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