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Effects of the earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus on rice P nutrition and plant-available soil P in a tropical Ferralsol

Abstract : We conducted a greenhouse experiment in mesocosms for 28 days to assess the effects of the endogeic earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus on plant-available soil phosphorus (P) and rice (Oryza sativa) P nutrition in a Malagasy Ferralsol. To assess plant-available soil P, we determined the L-value by measuring the specific activity of P taken up from the soil by rice and by applying the isotopic dilution principle. Despite earthworm mortality, P. corethrurus significantly increased rice shoot biomass (+26%) and P nutrition (+65%), confirming that the soil used for the experiment was P-deficient. The L-value also markedly increased from 6.8 ± 0.9 to 14.2 ± 1.3 mg P mesocosm−1 in the presence of P. corethrurus. We estimated that the orthophosphate ions released due to earthworm mortality contributed to 30% of the L-value increase. We attributed the remaining 70% increase to the solubilization of native soil P during its transit through the digestive tract. Thereafter, we discussed the sources of uncertainty associated with the L-value calculation and their utilization to assess earthworm effects on P availability in further studies.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03152409
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 3:34:14 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 3:22:04 PM

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Jean Trap, Eric Blanchart, Onja Ratsiatosika, Malalatiana Razafindrakoto, Thierry Becquer, et al.. Effects of the earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus on rice P nutrition and plant-available soil P in a tropical Ferralsol. Applied Soil Ecology, 2021, 160, pp.103867. ⟨10.1016/j.apsoil.2020.103867⟩. ⟨hal-03152409⟩

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