Differences in available phosphorus evaluated by soil tests in relation to detection by colorimetric and ICP-AES techniques

https://doi.org/10.17221/23/2010-PSECitation:Matula J. (2010): Differences in available phosphorus evaluated by soil tests in relation to detection by colorimetric and ICP-AES techniques. Plant Soil Environ., 56: 297-304.
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Differences in the evaluation of soil phosphorus status by three soil tests (Mehlich 3, extraction with NH4-acetate and water extraction) were tested on 63 agricultural soils with different agrochemical characteristics from the territory of the Czech Republic. Differences between the colorimetric determination of phosphorus and ICP technique were studied. The median of the values of phosphorus supply in soils determined by soil tests was considerably different. Compared to the colorimetric detection of water extraction of soils the median of the NH4-acetate test showed 2.2 times higher values and in Mehlich 3 test the values were 34.8 times higher. The largest difference between the end-point analytical techniques of phosphorus determination, colorimetry and ICP-AES, was observed in the soil test of water extraction. The median of the values determined by ICP-AES was higher by 47%. In NH4-acetate extraction of soils the median of the measured values of phosphorus was higher by 12% and in Mehlich 3 extraction by 7%. Differences in phosphorus concentrations determined by colorimetry and by ICP-AES increased as the phosphorus supply in soils decreased. When the supply of 'available' phosphorus in soil is given, it is always necessary to specify the used soil test including the end-point analytical technique of phosphorus determination to avoid the misleading interpretation of results. The problem of phosphorus in agriculture and in the environment requires thorough revision and methodical standardization.
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