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Title: Phosphorus dynamics and agronomic responses in Irish grassland soils
Author: Sheil, Timothy
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 3233
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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Phosphorus (P) is an essential element for grassland productivity, but P fertilizers are mined from finite resources of phosphate rock. As a result, there is growing interest in increasing the efficiency of P fertilizer !use in agriculture to ensure the future sustainability of food production. This project was designed to increase our knowledge on the behaviour of, and requirements of P in grassland soils. The results which include data from a long-term field experiment showed that a sustained annual application of 15 kg P ha-1 y(l was required for maximum herbage yield whilst seasonal trends indicated that P concentration in herbage was lowest during the summer months. Results from a field experiment which examined the effects of N, P and lime on two sites with contrasting soil fertility levels found a comparable response to nitrogen and P on the herbage yield while soil P levels had a strong influence on herbage P concentration. A soil incubation experiment carried out on a range of different Irish soils showed that lime plays an important role in increasing the availability of soil P and fertilizer P. In the same range of soils the examination of soil organic P was investigated and the results highlight the variation that exists in organic P species in Irish soils. Overall the results from these experiments suggests that as the future availability of P fertilizer becomes uncertain, a greater emphasis on soil specific fertilizer P guidelines will be required to maximise P efficiency in grasslands. This project will underpin the rationale and provide initial results which will aid the future implementation of a more soil specific P fertilizer guidelines in Ireland. Furthermore maintaining soil P fertility is a crucial if agriculture is to achieve the productivity targets set by a growing world population.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available