Tillage and phosphorus management effects on enzyme-labile bioactive phosphorus availability in Cerrado Oxisols
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Phosphorus (P) is an essential element in crop nutrition, which can be growth limiting or an environmental contaminant, if present in excess. Tillage practices have a direct effect on the behavior and availability of soil P. Sorption and availability of various P forms were evaluated in an incubation-fractionation study of three soils, a Typic Paleudults (CR soil) and two Cerrado Oxisols (Latossolo Vermelho-Amarelo [LVA] and Latossolo Vermelho [LV]) with distinct biogeochemical characteristics and tillage management history. Phosphate and myo-inositol hexakisphosphate (mIPH) were strongly sorbed by the soils. Maximum adsorption capacities (S(max)) were 2.2-6.9, 3.3-7.8, and 1.6-19.8 mmol kg(-1) for phosphate in the 0-40 cm depths of the CR, LV, and LVA soils, respectively. For mIPH, S. were 1.2-3.7, 3.7-5.5, and 4.6-5.2 mmol kg(-1). Saturation indices reflected the long-term effect of repeated manure applications on the Paleudults and the near saturation of its P holding capacity, in contrast to the recently cultivated Cerrado soils. Tillage method appeared to have altered P retention characteristics of the near-surface zone very slightly, while increases in ligand-exchangeable (EEP;) and enzyme-labile organic P (EDTA-PHP) forms were observed in no-till Oxisols. In the Paleudults, added manure P increased bioactive P fractions and P saturation of no-till near-surface soil zone. Estimates of all bioactive P fractions using the ligand-based enzymatic assay showed it to be an effective method for assessing P availability in soil and developing sustainable P management strategies, particularly in Cerrado Oxisols that were low in organic matter while having an extensive P-fixing capacity. Published by Elsevier B.V.