Temperature and freezing effects on phosphorus release from soils to overlying floodwater under flooded-anaerobic conditions
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Kumaragamage, Darshani, Angela Concepcion, Carolyn Gregory, Doug Goltz, Srimathie Indraratne, and Geethani Amarawansha. “Temperature and freezing effects on phosphorus release from soils to overlying floodwater under flooded-anaerobic conditions.” Journal of Environmental Quality 49(3) (May/June 2020): 700–711. DOI: 10.1002/jeq2.20062.
Increased phosphorus (P) availability under flooded, anaerobic conditions may accelerate P loss from soils to water bodies. Existing knowledge on P release to floodwater from flooded soils is limited to summer conditions and/or room temperatures. Spring snowmelt runoff, which occurs under cold temperatures with frequent freeze–thaw events, is the dominant mode of P loss from agricultural lands to water bodies in the Canadian Prairies. This research examined the effects of temperature on P dynamics under flooded conditions in a laboratory study using five agricultural soils from Manitoba, Canada. The treatments were (a) freezing for 1 wk at −20 ◦C, thawing and flooding at 4 ± 1 ◦C (frozen, cold); (b) flooding unfrozen soil at 4 ± 1 ◦C (unfrozen, cold); and (c) flooding unfrozen soil at 20 ± 2 ◦C (warm). Pore water and surface waterwere collectedweekly over 8 wk and analyzed for dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP), pH, calcium, magnesium, iron (Fe), and manganese (Mn). Soils under warm flooding showed enhanced P release with significantly higher DRP concentrations in pore and surface floodwater compared with cold flooding of frozen and unfrozen soils. The development of anaerobic conditions was slow under cold flooding with only a slight decrease in Eh, whereas under warm flooding Eh declined sharply, favoring reductive dissolution reactions releasing P, Fe, and Mn. Pore water and floodwater DRP concentrations were similar between frozen and unfrozen soil under cold flooding, suggesting that one freeze–thaw event prior to flooding had minimal effect on P release under simulated snowmelt conditions.