Towards better utilisation of soil phosphorus in managed grassland systems

Mart B.H. Ros

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU

Abstract

Managed grassland are an important agricultural land use and their productivity will need to increase over the coming decades to help meet the rising global food demand. Meanwhile, phosphorus (P) inputs into grasslands may decrease as a result of higher fertiliser prices or stronger agri-environmental regulations. Better utilisation of soil P pools and higher use efficiency of P inputs may help increase yields with lower inputs. The main objective of this thesis is to investigate mechanisms and driving factors that determine P availability in grassland soils. In a review of the existing literature on P fertilisation of grasslands, a large variation in the response of grass to P fertilisation was documented. Application rate and soil P status were major factors determining the success of fertilisation, but the presence of legumes, the soil pH, and organic matter content appeared to impact the results as well. This thesis also shows the potential role of grass species selection and management of soil fauna for increasing P use efficiency, through a series of greenhouse and lab experiments. Deep-rooting grass species with long roots were better able to resist P deficiency, and grew better than other species both when P fertilisation was applied or withheld. Additionally, various earthworm species were shown to greatly increase available P concentrations in their casts, compared to the bulk soil. These local P ‘hotspots’ could be utilised by grass and led to yield increases under P-limited growing conditions. When chemical composition of the earthworm casts was further explored, a higher pH in the casts was found to have a minor effect on P availability, and it was hypothesised that competition for adsorption sites between dissolved organic matter and orthophosphate could contribute to the higher P availability. This thesis provides a variety of avenues to increase P use efficiency in managed grasslands, which should be explored further in field and farms studies to assess their true potential.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Oenema, Oene, Promotor
  • van Groenigen, Jan-Willem, Co-promotor
  • Koopmans, Gerwin, Co-promotor
Award date29 Mar 2019
Place of PublicationWageningen
Publisher
Print ISBNs9789463434317
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Fingerprint

grasslands
grasses
phosphorus
soil
worm casts
environmental law
soil fauna
grassland soils
orthophosphates
dissolved organic matter
earthworms
application rate
soil pH
rooting
agricultural land
adsorption
soil organic matter
legumes
land use
chemical composition

Cite this

Ros, Mart B.H.. / Towards better utilisation of soil phosphorus in managed grassland systems. Wageningen : Wageningen University, 2019. 212 p.
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title = "Towards better utilisation of soil phosphorus in managed grassland systems",
abstract = "Managed grassland are an important agricultural land use and their productivity will need to increase over the coming decades to help meet the rising global food demand. Meanwhile, phosphorus (P) inputs into grasslands may decrease as a result of higher fertiliser prices or stronger agri-environmental regulations. Better utilisation of soil P pools and higher use efficiency of P inputs may help increase yields with lower inputs. The main objective of this thesis is to investigate mechanisms and driving factors that determine P availability in grassland soils. In a review of the existing literature on P fertilisation of grasslands, a large variation in the response of grass to P fertilisation was documented. Application rate and soil P status were major factors determining the success of fertilisation, but the presence of legumes, the soil pH, and organic matter content appeared to impact the results as well. This thesis also shows the potential role of grass species selection and management of soil fauna for increasing P use efficiency, through a series of greenhouse and lab experiments. Deep-rooting grass species with long roots were better able to resist P deficiency, and grew better than other species both when P fertilisation was applied or withheld. Additionally, various earthworm species were shown to greatly increase available P concentrations in their casts, compared to the bulk soil. These local P ‘hotspots’ could be utilised by grass and led to yield increases under P-limited growing conditions. When chemical composition of the earthworm casts was further explored, a higher pH in the casts was found to have a minor effect on P availability, and it was hypothesised that competition for adsorption sites between dissolved organic matter and orthophosphate could contribute to the higher P availability. This thesis provides a variety of avenues to increase P use efficiency in managed grasslands, which should be explored further in field and farms studies to assess their true potential.",
author = "Ros, {Mart B.H.}",
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Ros, MBH 2019, 'Towards better utilisation of soil phosphorus in managed grassland systems', Doctor of Philosophy, Wageningen University, Wageningen. https://doi.org/10.18174/471443

Towards better utilisation of soil phosphorus in managed grassland systems. / Ros, Mart B.H.

Wageningen : Wageningen University, 2019. 212 p.

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU

TY - THES

T1 - Towards better utilisation of soil phosphorus in managed grassland systems

AU - Ros, Mart B.H.

N1 - WU thesis 7183 Includes bibliographical references. - With summaries in English and Dutch

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Managed grassland are an important agricultural land use and their productivity will need to increase over the coming decades to help meet the rising global food demand. Meanwhile, phosphorus (P) inputs into grasslands may decrease as a result of higher fertiliser prices or stronger agri-environmental regulations. Better utilisation of soil P pools and higher use efficiency of P inputs may help increase yields with lower inputs. The main objective of this thesis is to investigate mechanisms and driving factors that determine P availability in grassland soils. In a review of the existing literature on P fertilisation of grasslands, a large variation in the response of grass to P fertilisation was documented. Application rate and soil P status were major factors determining the success of fertilisation, but the presence of legumes, the soil pH, and organic matter content appeared to impact the results as well. This thesis also shows the potential role of grass species selection and management of soil fauna for increasing P use efficiency, through a series of greenhouse and lab experiments. Deep-rooting grass species with long roots were better able to resist P deficiency, and grew better than other species both when P fertilisation was applied or withheld. Additionally, various earthworm species were shown to greatly increase available P concentrations in their casts, compared to the bulk soil. These local P ‘hotspots’ could be utilised by grass and led to yield increases under P-limited growing conditions. When chemical composition of the earthworm casts was further explored, a higher pH in the casts was found to have a minor effect on P availability, and it was hypothesised that competition for adsorption sites between dissolved organic matter and orthophosphate could contribute to the higher P availability. This thesis provides a variety of avenues to increase P use efficiency in managed grasslands, which should be explored further in field and farms studies to assess their true potential.

AB - Managed grassland are an important agricultural land use and their productivity will need to increase over the coming decades to help meet the rising global food demand. Meanwhile, phosphorus (P) inputs into grasslands may decrease as a result of higher fertiliser prices or stronger agri-environmental regulations. Better utilisation of soil P pools and higher use efficiency of P inputs may help increase yields with lower inputs. The main objective of this thesis is to investigate mechanisms and driving factors that determine P availability in grassland soils. In a review of the existing literature on P fertilisation of grasslands, a large variation in the response of grass to P fertilisation was documented. Application rate and soil P status were major factors determining the success of fertilisation, but the presence of legumes, the soil pH, and organic matter content appeared to impact the results as well. This thesis also shows the potential role of grass species selection and management of soil fauna for increasing P use efficiency, through a series of greenhouse and lab experiments. Deep-rooting grass species with long roots were better able to resist P deficiency, and grew better than other species both when P fertilisation was applied or withheld. Additionally, various earthworm species were shown to greatly increase available P concentrations in their casts, compared to the bulk soil. These local P ‘hotspots’ could be utilised by grass and led to yield increases under P-limited growing conditions. When chemical composition of the earthworm casts was further explored, a higher pH in the casts was found to have a minor effect on P availability, and it was hypothesised that competition for adsorption sites between dissolved organic matter and orthophosphate could contribute to the higher P availability. This thesis provides a variety of avenues to increase P use efficiency in managed grasslands, which should be explored further in field and farms studies to assess their true potential.

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DO - 10.18174/471443

M3 - internal PhD, WU

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PB - Wageningen University

CY - Wageningen

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