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Forests 2017, 8(1), 19;

Phosphorus in Preferential Flow Pathways of Forest Soils in Germany

Institute of Soil Science and Site Ecology, TU Dresden, Pienner Str. 19, 01737 Tharandt, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Scott X. Chang and Xiangyang Sun
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 23 December 2016 / Published: 30 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling and Plant Nutrition in Forest Ecosystems)
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The transport of nutrients in forest soils predominantly occurs along preferential flow pathways (PFP). This study investigated the composition of phosphorus (P) forms in PFPs and soil matrix in several temperate beech forests with contrasting soil P contents in Germany. The PFPs were visualized using dye tracer experiments. Stained and unstained soil was sampled from three profile cuts per plot and analyzed for P fractions. The results show that labile P concentrations were highest in the O-layer and had the same range of values at all sites (240–320 mg·kg−1), although total P (TP) differed considerably (530–2330 mg·kg−1). The ratio of labile P to TP was significantly lower in the P-rich soil compared to the medium and P-poor soils. By contrast, the ratio of moderately labile P to TP was highest at the P-rich site. The shifts in P fractions with soil depth were generally gradual in the P-rich soil, but more abrupt at the others. The contents of labile and moderately labile P clearly differed in PFPs compared to soil matrix, but not statistically significant. The studied soils are characterized by high stone contents with low potential for P sorption. However, indications were found that labile organically bound P accumulates in PFPs such as biopores. View Full-Text
Keywords: phosphorus fractions; forest soil; preferential flow; PFP phosphorus fractions; forest soil; preferential flow; PFP

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Julich, D.; Julich, S.; Feger, K.-H. Phosphorus in Preferential Flow Pathways of Forest Soils in Germany. Forests 2017, 8, 19.

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