Modeling the movement of phosphorus in some selected agricultural soils in Nigeria

Document Type: Research Paper


1 College of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, United Kingdom

2 Moghan College of Agriculture and Natural Resource , University of Mohaghegh Ardabili , Ardabil , IRAN


 This research investigate clayey, lateritic and sandy soils have been selected from agricultural lands in the South-Eastern Nigeria, for their phosphate sorption characteristics using column experiments, in order ascertain the movement of phosphate in the soils. The soil samples were equilibrated in 25ml of 0.01M CaCl2  containing different concentrations of P as KH2PO4 to produce initial concentrations of 250, 375, 500, 625 and 750µg/L of P for 14 days at room temperature. Six samples and a backup treatment were prepared for each concentration for each soil sample giving a total of 25 samples of each soil. Fitting the adsorption results from all the soil tested into Freundlich, Langmuir and Van Huay linear isotherms revealed that the adsorption of phosphate increased with the concentration of P and contact time. Values of P sorption maximum (Smax)  for all the soils were obtained in day 10 and were 12, 15 and 12 mg/kg soil for clayey, lateritic and sandy soil respectively. The higher sorption of lateritic over clayey soil was due to its high content of clay and clay minerals. The Freundlich isotherm perfectly fitted the clayey soil with the highest accuracy than the Langmuir and Van Huay isotherms, and also gave better description of the lateritic soil but did not adequately describe the sandy soil like the other isotherms. Comparison of the three isotherms showed that the Freundlich isotherm was the best for predicting the phosphorus adsorption behaviour in soils. The leaching of P in the soil column experiment was time-depth dependent and therefore, the use of slow phosphate fertilizer and lime could improve p-adsorption on the soil.


Main Subjects

Barrow, N.J., 1983. A mechanistic model for describing
     the sorption and desorption of phosphate by soil.
     Journal of Soil Science, 34; 733-750.

Beckwith, R.S., 1965. Sorbed phosphate at standard
     supernatant concentration as an estimate of the
     phosphate needs of soils. Animal Production Science,
     5; 52-58.

Boland, D. J., M. I. H. Brooker, G. M. Chippendale, N.
     Hall, B. P. M. Hyland, R. D. Johnston,  D. A. Kleinig,
     M. W. McDonald, J. D. Turner, 2006. Forest trees of
     Australia. CSIRO publishing.

Brady,  N.C., 1990. The Nature And Properties Of Soils.
     10th ed., Macmillan Publishing Company.

Dodor, D. E., K. Oya, 2000.  Phosphorus sorption
     characteristics of major soils in Okinawa, Japan.
     Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis,
     31; 277-288.

Foley, J., 2009. Life cycle assessment of wastewater
     treatment systems.phD thesis. Advaned water
     management center., University of queensland,

Gichangi, E.M., P.N.S. Mnkeni, P. Muchaonyerwa,
     2008. Phosphate sorption characteristics and external
     P requirements of selected South African soils.
     Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the
     Tropics and Subtropics (JARTS), 109; 139-149.

Goundar1, M.S., R.J. Morrison., C. Togamana1, 2014.
     Phosphorus requirements of some selected soil types
     in the Fiji sugarcane belt. The South Pacific Journal
     of Natural and Applied Sciences, 32; 1-10.

Gustafsson,  J.P., L.B. Mwamila, K. Kergoat, 2012. The
     pH dependence of phosphate sorption and desorption
     in Swedish agricultural soils. Geoderma, 189; 304-

Heredia O.S., C.A. Fernández, 2007. Environmental
     risks of increasing phosphorus addition in relation to
     soil sorption capacity. Geoderma, 137; 426-431.

Ho, G.E., S. Notodarmojo, 1995.  Phosphorus movement
     through soils and groundwater: application of a time-
     dependent sorption model. Water Science and
     Technology, 31; 83-90.

Hoseini, Y., R.D. Taleshmikaiel, 2013. Comparison of
     phosphorus adsorption isotherms in soil and its
     relation to soil properties. Intl J Agric: Res & Rev,
     3; 163-171.

Hoseini, Y., 2015. Investigating of Different
     Phosphorous Adsorption Models and Soil Buffer
     Indices and their Correlation with Soil Physical
     and Chemical Properties: A Case Study of Ardabil-
     Moqan Plain, Iran. International Bulletin of Water
     Resources & Development. 3;. 94-103.

Idris,  O.A.A., H.S. Ahmed, 2012. Phosphorus sorption
     capacity as a guide for phosphorus availability of
     selected Sudanese soil series. African Crop Science
     Journal, 20; 157-162.

Kulkani,  D.R., 1994.  Retention, release and
     transformation of phosphate and potash in relation to
     soil fertility potentials of three major soils. Asian
     Journal of chemistry, 6; p. 4.

Lotha, G., S. Sinha, 2014. Laterite', Encyclopaedia
     Britannica, Online Resource.

Manning,  P., P.D. Putwain, N. R. Webb, 2006. The role
     of soil phosphorus sorption characteristics in the
     functioning and stability of lowland heath
     ecosystems. Biogeochemistry, 81; 205-217.

Munhoz, R.d.O., R.S. Berton, O.A.d. Camargo, 2011.
     Phosphorus sorption and redistribution on soil solid
     phase in a Brazilian Haplorthox amended with
     biosolids. Applied and Environmental Soil Science,
     10; 1-7.

Murphy, J., J.P. Riley, 1962.  A modified single solution
     method for the determination of phosphate in natural
     waters.Analytica chimica acta, 27; 31-36.

Naseri, A.A., Hoseini, Y., Moazed, H., abbasi, F., 
     Samani, H.M.V., Sakebi, S.A2011. Phosphorus.
     transport through a saturated soil column: comparison

     between physical modeling and HYDRUS-3D

     outputs. Journal of Applied Sciences, 11; 815-


Nga,  N.T.H., 2013.  Application of volcanic ash soil and
     laterite to water treatment. phD thesis. Department of
     Agro-Environmental Sciences, Kyushu University,

Pizzeghello, D., A. Berti, S. Nardi, F. Morari, 2016.
     Relationship between soil test phosphorus and
     phosphorus release to solution in three soils after
     long-term mineral and manure application.
     Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 233; 214–

Ruan,  H.D., R.J. Gilkes, 1996. Kinetics of phosphate
     sorption and desorption by synthetic aluminous
     goethite before and after thermal transformation to
     hematite. Clay Minerals, 31; 63-74.

Silva, J.A., C.I. Evensen, R.L. Bowen, R. Kirby, G.Y.
     Tsuji, R.S. Yost, 2000. Managing Fertilizer Nutrients
     to Protect the Environment and Human Health.
     College of Tropical Agriculture and Human
     Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Siradz, S.A., 2010.  Phosphorus sorption characteristics
     of red soils from Lampung, west-and central Java.
     Journal Tana Tropika (Journal of Tropical
     Soils), 14; 16-22.

Sims, J.T., R.O. Maguire, A.B. Leytem, K.L Gartely,
     M.C. Pautler, 2002. Evaluation of Mehlich as an agri-
     environmental soil phosphorus test for the Mid-
     Atlantic united states of America, Soil Science
     Society of America Journal,  66; 2016 -2032.

Torrent,  J., U. Schwertmann, V. Barron, 1992.  Fast and
     slow phosphate sorption by goethite-rich natural
     materials. Clays Clay Miner, 40; 14-21.

Tsado, P.A., O.A. Osunde, C.A. Igwe, M.K.A. Adeboye,
     B.A. Lawal, 2012. Phosphorus sorption
     characteristics of some selected soil of the Nigerian
     Guinea Savanna. International Journal of
     AgriScience, 2; 613-618.

Tucker, M.R., 1999. Clay minerals: their importance and
     function in soils. NCDA&CS Agronomic Division.

Väänänen,  R., J. Hristov, N. Tanskanen, H. Hartikainen,
     M. Nieminen, H. Ilvesniemi, 2008.  Phosphorus
     sorption properties in podzolic forest soils and soil
     solution phosphorus concentration in undisturbed and
     disturbed soil profiles.Boreal Environment Research,
     13; 553-556.

Wood, R.B., C.F. McAtamney, 1996.  Constructed
     wetlands for waste water treatment: the use of laterite
     in the bed medium in phosphorus and heavy metal
     removal. Management and Ecology of Freshwater
    Plants. Springer. 323-331.

Zhang, H., J.L. Schroder, J.K. Fuhrman, N.T. Basta,
     D.E. Storm, M.E. Patron, 2005. Path and multiple
     regression analyses of phosphorus sorption capacity. 
     Soil Sci. Soc Am . J., 69; 96-106.