Soil Chemistry Aspects of Predicting Future Phosphorus Requirements in Sub-Saharan Africa

Daniel Magnone, Vahid J. Niasar*, A.F. Bouwman, A.H.W. Beusen, S.E.A.T.M. van der Zee, S.Z. Sattari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Phosphorus (P) is a finite resource and critical to plant growth and therefore food security. Regional‐ and continental‐scale studies propose how much P would be required to feed the world by 2050. These indicate that Sub‐Saharan Africa soils have the highest soil P deficit globally. However, the spatial heterogeneity of the P deficit caused by heterogeneous soil chemistry in the continental scale has never been addressed. We provide a combination of a broadly adopted P‐sorption model that is integrated into a highly influential, large‐scale soil phosphorus cycling model. As a result, we show significant differences between the model outputs in both the soil‐P concentrations and total P required to produce future crops for the same predicted scenarios. These results indicate the importance of soil chemistry for soil‐nutrient modeling and highlight that previous influential studies may have overestimated P required. This is particularly the case in Somalia where conventional modeling predicts twice as much P required to 2050 as our new proposed model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-337
JournalJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Issue number1
Early online date2 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

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