Plant and Soil, 2011, Vol.341(1), pp.363-382
Exudation of organic acid anions by plants as well as root-induced changes in rhizosphere pH can potentially improve phosphate (P i ) availability in the rhizosphere and are frequently found to occur simultaneously. In non-calcareous soils, a major proportion of P i is strongly sorbed to metal oxi(hydr)oxides of mainly iron (Fe) and aluminium (Al) and organic anions are known to compete with P i for the same sorption sites (ligand exchange) or solubilize P i via ligand-promoted mineral dissolution. Root-induced co-acidification may also further promote P i release from soil. The relative efficiency of these different solubilization mechanisms, however, is poorly understood. The aims of this study were to gain a better mechanistic understanding of the solubilizing mechanisms of four carboxylates (citrate, malate, oxalate, malonate) in five soils with high and low P surface site saturation. Results indicate that at a lower P saturation of solid phase sorption sites, ligand-promoted mineral dissolution was the main P i solubilization mechanism, while ligand exchange became more important at higher soil P concentrations. Co-acidification generally increased P i solubility in the presence of carboxylates; however the relative solubilizing effect of carboxylates compared to the background electrolyte (KCl) control decreased by 20–50%. In soils with high amounts of exchangeable calcium (Ca), the proton-induced Ca solubilization reduced soluble P i , presumably due to ionic-strength-driven changes in the electric surface potential favoring a higher P i retention. Across a wider soil pH range (pH 3–8), P i solubility increased with increasing alkalinity, as a result of both, more negatively charged sorption sites, as well as DOC-driven changes in Fe and Al solubility, which were further enhanced by the presence of citrate. Overall, the relative efficiency of carboxylates in solubilizing P i was greatest in soils with medium to high amounts of anionic binding sites (mainly Fe- and Al-oxy(hydr)oxides) and a medium P sorption site coverage, with citrate being most effective in solubilizing P i .
Phosphate ; Fertilization ; Organic acids ; Carboxylates ; pH ; Nutrient mobilization ; Acidification ; Rhizosphere
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