University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Chemistry
Inorganic phosphorus in 363 samples of Finnish mineral soils was fractionated by the procedure of CHANG and JACKSON. The average content of total inorganic phosphorus determined as the difference of the total phosphorus and organic phosphorus tended to increase from sand to clay soils. The sand and fine sand soils appeared to be richer in fluoride-soluble phosphorus but poorer in acid-soluble phosphorus than the other groups of soils. The part of phosphorus extracted by alkali seemed to be almost independent on the soil texture. In about 60 per cent of the samples the acid-soluble phosphorus was the dominant inorganic phosphorus fraction, in spite of the often high acidity of the soil. This, in connection with the rather low content of reductant soluble phosphorus, was taken to indicate the relatively low degree of weathering in these soils. The higher contents of fluoride-soluble and alkali-soluble phosphorus in the surface samples of the cultivated soils as compared with the corresponding kind of virgin soils or soils from the deeper layers may be mainly attributed to the application of phosphorus fertilizers and to a somewhat higher degree of weathering. The soil pH did not seem to play any important role among the factors related to the distribution of inorganic phosphorus into various fractions in the present material. This was particularly true in the cultivated surface soils. It is likely, that in our soils the variation in the contents of active iron and aluminium will to a higher degree than pH explain the variation in the fractions of alkali-soluble and fuoride-soluble phosphorus. The relatively high content of the latter fraction in the sand and fine sand soils as compared with the soils of the finer texture could be related to the higher ratio of ammonium oxalate soluble aluminium to iron in the former soils.
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