Phosphorus conditions at various depths in some mineral soils


  • Armi Kaila University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Chemistry


The fractionation method of CHANG and JACKSON (2) was used for the analysing of the distribution of inorganic phosphorus in the topsoil and subsoil of twelve virgin and twelve cultivated soils from various parts of the country; two virgin soils and twenty cultivated soils were studied down to the depths of 60 cm or 70 cm, one even to 2 m. In the more intensively podsolized virgin soils the surface layers, particularly the A2-horizon, are very poor in all the forms of inorganic phosphorus while the enrichment layer will contain fairly high amounts of iron and aluminium bound phosphorus. The application of fertilizers and the other cultivation managements tend to accumulate aluminium and iron bound phosphorus in the plough layer. In some soils the minimum content of calcium bound phosphorus occurs in the layer below the plough layer, but an increase with the depth seems to be typical to it in all the non-Litorina soils, while the first two fractions usually decrease with the depth. In the Litorina soils the iron bound phosphorus is dominant in all the layers studied, but the content of reductant soluble phosphorus is low in these soils, and their content of calcium bound phosphorus is higher than the content of phosphorus bound by aluminium. The predominance of calcium phosphate in the subsoil and the rather low content of reductant soluble and occluded fractions indicate that the chemical weathering in most of our soils is not yet at an advanced stage. The test values determined were in accordance with the results of the fractionation and the estimation of ammonium oxalate soluble aluminium and iron.


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How to Cite

Kaila, A. (1963). Phosphorus conditions at various depths in some mineral soils. Agricultural and Food Science, 35(2), 69–79.