Chemical, Biological, and Biochemical Parameters of the Soil P Cycle After Long-Term Pig Slurry Application in No-Tillage System

<div><p>ABSTRACT In Southern Brazil, agricultural soils are often treated over long periods with annual pig slurry (PS) applications, and their influence on soil nutrient dynamics should be monitored. This study aimed to evaluate the P forms accumulated in the soil and some biological and biochemical parameters of the P cycle after 19 successive PS applications over eight years, in a no-tillage (NT) system. Pig slurry was applied at rates of 0, 20, 40, and 80 m3 ha-1 per crop. Several P forms (available P, microbial P, phosphatase enzyme, total organic and inorganic P) in the 0.00-0.05 and 0.05-0.10 m soil layers were analyzed. Increases up to 5,523 % in available P, 308 % in microbial P, 104 % in phosphatase enzyme activity, 91 % in organic P, 251 % in inorganic P, and 19 % in Total-P were observed in the 0.00-0.05 m soil layer in response to the highest PS rate compared to the treatment with no PS. Results also indicated that P added via PS was preferentially accumulated in the inorganic fractions (83-98 %). The increase in organic P was limited by the increase in soil organic carbon. The increase in soil microbial biomass-P was more influenced by available P, while the increase in phosphatase enzyme activity was more related to the increase in organic P and C. Therefore, PS applied to the soil affected the chemical, biological, and biochemical components of the soil P cycle. Results indicate that even half of the PS rate normally used by farmers (20 m3 ha-1) poses a high risk of pollution of water bodies by runoff from these soils.</p></div>