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Rapid transformation of inorganic to organic and plant-available phosphorous in soils of a glacier forefield
Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
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2012 (English)In: Geoderma, Vol. 189-190, 215-226 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Chemical weathering of rocks or sediments is extremely important for the generation of soils, for the evolution of landscape, and as a main source of inorganic nutrients for plant growth and therefore for life. Temporal trends in weathering mechanisms, plant succession and nutrients availability in cold environments can be successfully studied in soil chronosequences along a glacier forefield. In the present paper, this was carried out in the pro-glacial area of Morteratsch. Different forms of phosphorous in the soil, stream and spring water chemistry were investigated. Apatite constitutes the main source of P, but it occurs only as a minor accessory mineral phase in the granitic/gneiss parent material. The identification of apatite was performed using SEM-EDX and cathodoluminescence. Water chemistry data indicated some calcite dissolution at the earliest phase of exposure, pyrite and - on older surfaces increasingly - feldspar weathering. Apatite also seemed to contribute to Ca which is leached from the soils. The concentrations of dissolved P in the stream and spring waters were, however, extremely low (only a few μg P/l). In the topsoil, the total stocks of P showed a slight decrease with time. Losses were rather difficult to detect even though the water fluxes through the soils and discharges are relatively high. Soil organic P is almost identical to the EDTA-extractable fraction. In an 11.5. ky-old soil outside the glacier forefield the concentration and proportions of organic P, EDTA-extractable P and inorganic P forms did not differ that much from the oldest soils (max. 150. years) of the glacier forefield. In the bulk soil, about 78% of total P was transformed into an organic form (40% already after 150. years) and, in the fine earth, about 81% (40-70% after about 150. years of soil evolution). Thus the P transformation reactions are shown to be very rapid, occur predominantly in the early phase of soil formation, and could be best described by an exponential decay model. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012. Vol. 189-190, 215-226 p.
Keyword [en]
Apatite, Glacier forefield, Initial soils, Phosphorous, Weathering
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-189190DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2012.06.033ISI: 000311875900024OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-189190DiVA: diva2:580740

Export Date: 26 December 2012 Source: Scopus 

Available from: 2012-12-26 Created: 2012-12-26 Last updated: 2013-04-05Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84865055792&partnerID=40&md5=43fbe9a302f884c9a7c625f5a40ed115

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Seibert, J.
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