Phosphorus sorption characteristics in the Sahel: Estimates from soils in Mali

Crop yield in sub-Saharan Africa is often limited by low phosphorus fertility. Farmers in the region can apply phosphate rock, which should increase the plant-available phosphorus level, but this may be prone to sorption in acid soils of the Sahel. The objective of this study was to determine phosphorus (P) sorption characteristics of four representative soil series in Sahelian Mali namely, Longorola (Gleysol), Danga (Fluvisol), Niessoumana (Arenosol) and Konobougou (Acrisol) under Tilemsi Phosphate Rock (TPR) treatment. Data for phosphorus sorption was obtained by equilibrating 5 g of soils for 7 days at room temperature in 50 ml of 0.01M CaCl2 containing six (6) rates of phosphate as TPR (0, 10, 20, 40, 80, 160 mg/L). The linear form of the Langmuir equation was used to calculate sorption parameters of the soils. The Gleysol with the greatest clay content had the highest phosphorus sorption maximum which was over three times greater than that of the Acrisol with the least clay content. The sorption maxima in the range of 59–200 mg/kg were well estimated with Langmuir sorption isotherm (R2 ≥ 0.78). Soil organic matter and clay contents influenced phosphorus sorption from the TPR. The degree of phosphorus saturation ranged from 2.39 to 6.47 %, being greater in the Arenosol. In a two-season field experiment on the Haplic Acrisol, we tested on maize, the TPR in two forms (powder and pellet) in addition to water-soluble diammonium phosphate at different rates (0, 11 and 16 kg P /ha). The water-soluble DAP and TPR (powder) had similar effects (p < 0.05) on soil P availability but with DAP producing greater grain yields. This shows that application of TPR in powder form can improve phosphorus availability as water-soluble DAP with positive impact on grain yield. The study provides useful information on P sorption characteristics of TPR amendment in the Sahel.
This article is published by Aimpress,2023 and is also available at DOI: 10.3934/agrfood.2023053
AIMS Agriculture and Food, 8(4): 995–1009.