New Perspectives on Phosphorus Management in the Soil-Plant System—Looking for Solutions to the P Scarcity

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Soil and Plant Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2024) | Viewed by 6810

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Soil Sciences, Plant Nutrition and Environmental Protection; Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences; ul. Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wrocław, Poland
Interests: soil organic matter transformation; phosphorus sorption and behaviour in soil; soil colloids
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Soil Sciences, Plant Nutrition and Environmental Protection, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wrocław, Poland
Interests: plant physiology; photosynthesis; abiotic stress; adaptations of plants to the low availability and poor mobility of soil phosphorus

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Soil Science and Environmental Protection, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wrocław, Poland
Interests: organic matter studies; humification; soil chemistry; organic amendments with particular emphasis on composting process
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The management of phosphorus in agricultural areas has always posed numerous problems simply due to the chemical nature of this macronutrient. This is driven by two aspects: on the one hand, the low P bioavailability, requiring continuous soil fertilisation, and on the other, its strong sorption and high accumulation in forms unavailable for plants as well as the risk of the eutrophication as a result of possible P mobilisation into the environment. They have now been joined by new problems on a global scale. These issues of growing concern include:

  • Limited natural resources of the world's phosphorites;
  • An increasing need to handle an expanding amount of waste (municipal, agricultural and others);
  • Environmental changes caused by human activity and climate change, resulting in, e.g., the acceleration of soil degradation, especially of arable soils, and the progressive loss of organic matter.

The Special Issue is, therefore, proposed to address the problems of searching for alternative (renewable) sources of P fertilisation and studying plant resistance to P deficiency based on physiological processes, deepening the knowledge of P availability and transformations in soil and plant in relation to current environmental challenges.

Dr. Magdalena Dębicka
Dr. Piotr Stępień
Dr. Elżbieta Jamroz
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • alternative P soil sources
  • organic and mineral waste application
  • exogenous organic matter utility
  • P bioavailability
  • P retention in plant–soil environment
  • P-related plant molecular mechanisms
  • plants resistant to P shortage
  • mobilisation of unavailable P
  • root exudates

Published Papers (5 papers)

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14 pages, 3198 KiB  
Article
The Enzyme Activity of Dual-Domain β-Propeller Alkaline Phytase as a Potential Factor in Improving Soil Phosphorus Fertility and Triticum aestivum Growth
by Yitong Zhang, Jiangtao Li, Fang Lu, Siqi Wang, Yangjie Ren, Shiyang Guo, Ben Wang and Wei Gao
Agronomy 2024, 14(3), 614; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14030614 - 19 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 836
Abstract
The widespread use of non-renewable phosphate fertilizers in agriculture poses a significant pollution threat to soil, necessitating the exploration of sustainable alternatives for phosphate fertility. Releasing phytate phosphorus through microbial phytases presents an eco-friendly solution for sustainable phosphate fertility in agriculture. This study [...] Read more.
The widespread use of non-renewable phosphate fertilizers in agriculture poses a significant pollution threat to soil, necessitating the exploration of sustainable alternatives for phosphate fertility. Releasing phytate phosphorus through microbial phytases presents an eco-friendly solution for sustainable phosphate fertility in agriculture. This study directly inoculated dual-domain β-propeller alkaline phytase (phyHT) derived from Bacillus sp. HJB17 into the soil. The study analyzed the impact of inoculated phyHT on the physicochemical properties of the soil, assessed the variations in enzyme activity of phyHT within the soil, and examined the effects of the treated soil on wheat growth. Additionally, the study explored the enhancement of the available phosphorus in the soil through the inoculation of phyHT in both crop residues and organic fertilizer. PhyHT exhibited the highest catalytic activity at 37 °C and pH 8.0. After soil adsorption, phyHT maintained stable enzymatic activity. PhyHT markedly boosted the available phosphorus in the soil while reducing the soil phytate content by about 20%, increasing the phosphorus levels and enhancing soil fertility. PhyHT effectively degraded phytates in an organic fertilizer and crop residues, increasing the available phosphorus. PhyHT supplementation enhanced growth, biomass, and phosphorus content in both the shoot and root weights of Triticum aestivum. This study establishes phyHT as a viable and eco-friendly method to enhance phosphorus fertility in soil. The direct application of microbial phytases can serve as a sustainable source of phosphate fertility in soil. Full article
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23 pages, 2402 KiB  
Article
Significance of Phosphate Nano-Fertilizers Foliar Application: A Brief Real-Field Study of Quantitative, Physiological Parameters, and Agro-Ecological Diversity in Sunflower
by Dávid Ernst, Marek Kolenčík, Martin Šebesta, Ľuba Ďurišová, Samuel Kšiňan, Lenka Tomovičová, Nikola Kotlárová, Mária Kalúzová, Ivan Černý, Gabriela Kratošová, Veronika Žitniak Čurná, Jana Ivanič Porhajašová, Mária Babošová, Edmund Dobročka, Yu Qian, Sasikumar Swamiappan, Ramakanth Illa, Shankara Gayathri Radhakrishnan, B. Ratna Sunil and Ladislav Ducsay
Agronomy 2023, 13(10), 2606; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13102606 - 13 Oct 2023
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Abstract
One of the challenges in agriculture practices is guaranteeing an adequate and bioavailable phosphorus supply for plants on phosphorus-deficient soils. A promising alternative lies in the utilization of phosphate nano-fertilizers (NFs) through spray applications. Therefore, this short-term study aimed to investigate the yet [...] Read more.
One of the challenges in agriculture practices is guaranteeing an adequate and bioavailable phosphorus supply for plants on phosphorus-deficient soils. A promising alternative lies in the utilization of phosphate nano-fertilizers (NFs) through spray applications. Therefore, this short-term study aimed to investigate the yet undetermined widespread impact of P-NFs on crops characterized by broad leaves, an intensive rate of photosynthesis, and belonging to the oilseed plant, sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). To achieve this, NFs were applied at lower concentrations of various phosphate-based NFs, including (i) nano-hydroxylapatite (nano-Hap) and (ii) a mixture of nano-calcium zinc phosphate and macro-sized parascholzite (nano/macro-ZnPhos), in comparison to the NF-free control. The study was carried out under authentic field conditions during the 2022 vegetation season at the Dolná Malanta site within the Central European Region. The empirical evidence presented herein indicates that the utilization of biocompatible and bioactive nano-Hap, initially engineered for biomedical applications, and nano/macro-ZnPhos, now foliarly applied at reduced concentrations, elicited a statistically significant elevation in quantitative parameters and seasonal physiological responses. The parameters analyzed included head diameter, dry head weight, seed yield per hectare, nutritional seed oiliness, etc. as well as the physiological normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), stomatal conductance index (Ig), and crop water stress index (CWSI). In terms of agro-ecological terrestrial bio/diversity, it was evident that the nano/macro-ZnPhos was the most hospitable variant for the terrestric insect community, but surprisingly, the agronomically more popular nano-Hap showed only statistically insignificant changes in the diversity of the detected communities. However, the relevance of outcomes highlighted using nano-fertilizers, supporting the concept of precision and sustainable agriculture under field conditions. Full article
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16 pages, 3490 KiB  
Article
Circular Economy Approach to Enhance Soil Fertility Based on Recovering Phosphorus from Wastewater
by Tolulope Ayeyemi, Ramiro Recena, Ana María García-López and Antonio Delgado
Agronomy 2023, 13(6), 1513; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13061513 - 30 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1548
Abstract
Phosphorus (P) is a non-renewable resource whose future scarcity will constrain agricultural sustainability. Thus, to ensure this sustainability, a circular economy approach involving the use of recycled P sources is needed. The objective of this study was to assess the fertilizer effect of [...] Read more.
Phosphorus (P) is a non-renewable resource whose future scarcity will constrain agricultural sustainability. Thus, to ensure this sustainability, a circular economy approach involving the use of recycled P sources is needed. The objective of this study was to assess the fertilizer effect of two recycled P products that can be obtained from water purification: vivianites and struvites. Five vivianites (one synthetic, one obtained from industrial process, and three from water purification) and two struvites (named A and B) from diverse origins were compared with soluble mineral P fertilizer (superphosphate) in a pot experiment using wheat at two P rates (50 and 100 mg P kg−1) in two Mediterranean soils. Struvites performed similarly to superphosphate and outperformed all types of vivianites in terms of dry matter (DM) yield and P uptake. Industrial and synthetic vivianites, led to higher DM yield and P uptake by plants than vivianites from water purification. Synthetic and industrial process vivianites increased Olsen P in soils after harvesting, relative to non-fertilized soils. Differences between vivianites can be explained by the different Fe2+ to Fe3+ ratios, the different crystal sizes, and morphology. Struvite B can replace 65–92% superphosphate on a P uptake basis, and 94–154% on a DM yield basis (the range depends on the P rate). Vivianite from industrial process can replace 54–75% of superphosphate on a DM basis, depending on the P rate. Thus, struvites were as efficient as superphosphate as P fertilizer. However, the results obtained with industrial process vivianite are promising with a view to its potential use in agriculture. Full article
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18 pages, 2847 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Municipal Solid Waste Compost on the Tranformations of Phosphorus Forms in Soil
by Magdalena Debicka, Elżbieta Jamroz, Jakub Bekier, Irmina Ćwieląg-Piasecka and Andrzej Kocowicz
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1234; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051234 - 27 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1608
Abstract
Searching for a renewable phosphorus (P) source for agricultural soils has become a challenge of particular importance on a global scale. Depletion of the world’s phosphate resources as well as the risk of environmental problems caused by excessive P mobility have placed this [...] Read more.
Searching for a renewable phosphorus (P) source for agricultural soils has become a challenge of particular importance on a global scale. Depletion of the world’s phosphate resources as well as the risk of environmental problems caused by excessive P mobility have placed this topic among the most important environmental issues. The aim of this study was to analyse the transformation of phosphorus forms in municipal solid waste compost (MSWC) at different maturity stages, to assess the effects of their application on soil phosphorus status and to evaluate the suitability of MSWC for agricultural soils as a potential phosphorus source. The application of MSWC to the soil had a positive effect on the content of available P. The content of potentially mobile P forms increased significantly in the soil, primarily after the introduction of immature MSWC and confirmed by the significant correlations with the applied P indicators. However, the results indicate that the MSWC does not pose a serious environmental risk and could become a potential source of P in the soil, although the material used for this purpose should be mature. This study also indicated that the assessment of using compost as a P source should not be based on P total content alone, but should include the content of different P forms and specific P-related indicators, to reflect both the P availability and the potential environmental risks. Full article
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10 pages, 411 KiB  
Perspective
Phosphorus Supply to Plants of Vaccinium L. Genus: Proven Patterns and Unexplored Issues
by Irina V. Struchkova, Vyacheslav S. Mikheev, Ekaterina V. Berezina and Anna A. Brilkina
Agronomy 2024, 14(6), 1109; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14061109 - 23 May 2024
Viewed by 315
Abstract
Phosphorus availability is a serious problem for plants growing and grown in acidic soils of bogs, poor in macronutrients. The application of phosphorus fertilizers to such soils is unprofitable because of the physical and chemical properties of these soils, where phosphate is firmly [...] Read more.
Phosphorus availability is a serious problem for plants growing and grown in acidic soils of bogs, poor in macronutrients. The application of phosphorus fertilizers to such soils is unprofitable because of the physical and chemical properties of these soils, where phosphate is firmly bound to organic and inorganic compounds and becomes inaccessible to plants. Plants of the Vaccinium genus both from natural stands and commercial plantations may suffer from phosphorus deficiency, so they need to have a number of adaptations that allow them to efficiently extract phosphorus. This review addresses the following issues in relation to plants of the Vaccinium genus: sources of phosphorus for plants; the release of phosphate ions from soil components; the transport of phosphate ions into plants; and the importance of mycorrhiza in supplying phosphorus to plants. Thus, we sought to draw researchers’ attention to sources and routes of phosphorus supply of plants of the Vaccinium genus and its unexplored aspects. Full article
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