The application of soil amendments benefits to the reduction of phosphorus depletion and the growth of cabbage and corn

Wei Liu, Hongli Ji, Philip Kerr, Yonghong Wu, Yanming Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The loss of phosphorus from agricultural intensive areas can cause ecological problems such as eutrophication in downstream surface waters. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to control the phosphorus loss using environmentally benign soil amendments, viz, ferrous sulfate (FES), aluminum sulfate (ALS), and polyacrylamide (PAM). The phosphorus concentration changes in soil and leaching solution, the morphological index of plant (including stem and root), and root activity and quality (represented by chlorophyll and soluble sugar) at different growth stages of cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata L.) were monitored in a pilot experiment. Phosphorus contents in soil and runoff were also investigated in field experiments cultivated with corn (Zea mays L.). The results show that the application of these amendments improved the phosphorus uptake by cabbage and corn, resulting in the enhanced morphologies of root and stem as well as the root activity at the early and middle stages of cabbage growth. The soil total phosphorus and available phosphorus in soils treated with FES, ALS, and PAM declined, resulting in lower concentrations of phosphorus in the leachate and the soil runoff. During the use of the soil amendments, the cabbage quality measures, determined as chlorophyll and soluble sugar in leaves, were not significantly different from those in the control. It is suggested that the application of these soil amendments is safe for cabbage production under single season cropping conditions, and the use of these three amendments is a promising measure to reduce phosphorus loss in intensive agricultural areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16772-16780
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


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