Colloid-bound and dissolved phosphorus species in topsoil water extracts along a grassland transect from Cambisol to Stagnosol
Abstract. Phosphorus (P) species in colloidal and
dissolved soil fractions may have different distributions. To understand which P species are potentially involved, we obtained water extracts from the surface soils of a gradient from Cambisol, Stagnic Cambisol to Stagnosol from temperate grassland in Germany. These were filtered to < 450 nm, and divided into three procedurally defined fractions: small-sized colloids (20–450 nm), nano-sized colloids (1–20 nm), and
dissolved P (< 1 nm), using asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation (AF4), as well as filtration for solution 31P-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The total P of soil water extracts increased in the order Cambisol < Stagnic Cambisol < Stagnosol due to increasing contributions from the dissolved P fraction. Associations of C–Fe/Al–PO43−/pyrophosphate were absent in nano-sized (1–20 nm) colloids from the Cambisol but not in the Stagnosol. The 31P-NMR results indicated that this was accompanied by elevated portions of organic P in the order Cambisol > Stagnic Cambisol > Stagnosol. Across all soil types, elevated proportions of inositol hexakisphosphate (IHP) species (e.g., myo-, scyllo- and D-chiro-IHP) were associated with soil mineral particles (i.e., bulk soil and small-sized soil colloids), whereas other orthophosphate monoesters and phosphonates were found in the
dissolved P fraction. We conclude that P species composition varies among colloidal and
dissolved soil fractions after characterization using advanced techniques, i.e., AF4 and NMR. Furthermore, stagnic properties affect P speciation and availability by potentially releasing dissolved inorganic and ester-bound P forms as well as nano-sized organic matter–Fe/Al–P colloids.