Articles | Volume 13, issue 4
Research article
24 Feb 2016
Research article |  | 24 Feb 2016

Phosphorus fertilisation under nitrogen limitation can deplete soil carbon stocks: evidence from Swedish meta-replicated long-term field experiments

Christopher Poeplau, Martin A. Bolinder, Holger Kirchmann, and Thomas Kätterer


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Short summary
Nutrients determine the balance between inputs and outputs to and from the soil and thus exert a strong impact on the total soil organic carbon stock. However, for phosphorus, this impact has not been comprehensively addressed. Here we show in 10 different long-term experiments that phosphorus fertilisation can significantly deplete soil carbon stocks, despite a positive impact on plant growth and thus carbon inputs. Thus, soil carbon decay is most likely stimulated even more strongly.
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