Environmental Pollution ( IF 6.792 ) Pub Date : 2020-11-20 , DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116098 Wei Zhang; Yuwen Zhang; Yuli An; Xinping Chen
Overuse of phosphorus (P) fertilizer and the resulting soil P accumulation in vegetable production increases the risk of P runoff and leaching. However, P transformations under continuous fertilization and their effects on environmental risk are unclear. The current study examined the effects of long-term P fertilizer application on P fractions in different soil layers, and assessed the correlations between P fractions and environmental risks in intensive vegetable production in a subtropical region. A total of 32 fields were studied, including 8 uncultivated fields and 24 fields continuously used for vegetable production for 1-3, 4-9, or 10-15 years. The results showed that excessive P fertilizer input caused soil P surpluses ranging from 204.6 to 252.4 kg ha-1 yr-1. Compared to uncultivated fields, vegetable fields contained higher levels of labile P, moderately labile P, sparingly labile P, and non-labile P. The combined percentage of labile P and moderately labile P increased from 55.2% in fields cultivated for 0-3 year to 65.5% in fields cultivated for 10-15 years. The concentrations of soil P fractions were higher at 0-20 cm soil depth than at 20-40 and 40-60 cm soil depth. Soil available P was positively correlated with all soil P fractions except diluted HCl-Pi or concentrated HCl-Po. Long-term vegetable production increased CaCl2-P downward movement, which was positively correlated with levels of labile and moderately labile P. The P index indicated a high risk of P losses from the vegetable fields. The P index was on average 3.27-fold higher in the vegetable fields than in uncultivated fields, and was significantly correlated with soil available P and organic and inorganic P fertilizer input. The environmental risk caused by P in vegetable production should be reduced by reducing P fertilizer input so as to maintain soil available P within an optimal range for vegetable production.