Previous studies, conducted at the inception of rewetting degraded peatlands, reported that rewetting increased phosphorus (P) mobilization but long-term effects of rewetting on the soil P status are unknown. The objectives of this study were to (i) characterize P in the surface and subsurface horizons of long-term drained and rewetted percolation mires, forest, and coastal peatlands and (ii) examine the influence of drainage and rewetting on P speciation and distributions using wet-chemical and advanced spectroscopic analyses. The total P was significantly (p < 0.05) different at the surface horizons. The total concentration of P ranged from 1022 to 2320 mg kg−1 in the surface horizons and decreased by a factor of two to five to the deepest horizons. Results of the chemical, solution 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and P K-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) indicated that the major proportions of total P were organic P (Po). In the same peatland types, the relative proportions of Po and stable P fractions were lower in the drained than in the rewetted peatland. The results indicate that long-term rewetting not only locks P in organic matter but also transforms labile P to stable P fractions at the surface horizons of the different peatland types.
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