Phytoremediation of a High Phosphorus Soil by Summer and Winter Hay Harvest
Phosphorus (P) loading into surface water from runoff and subsurface flow
leaving soils subjected to long-term applications of poultry litter (PL) will degrade water
quality. A practical way to reduce such loading is to remove soil P through plant uptake
and harvest removal. The primary field study presented here examined the
effectiveness of hay harvest utilizing a double-cropped system - perennial warm-season
forage grass, common bermudagrass (CB; Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.), overseeded
with annual ryegrass (ARG; Lolium multiflorum Lam.), a cool-season forage, in reducing
soil P from a Ruston fine-sandy loam impacted by PL amendments. A secondary field
study similarly examined CB, bahiagrass (BG; (Paspalum notatum Flugge.), crabgrass
(CG; Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop.) and switchgrass (SG; Panicum virgatum L.).
The primary study was conducted as a randomized block design with three
replicate plots of four previous rates of PL (0, 5, 10 and 20 Mg ha-1) applied annually
(1996-2001) to CB sod, at the Calhoun Research Station in Calhoun, Louisiana.
Following the last PL application, plots were overseeded with ARG in Fall 2001, forage
harvested and analyzed for dry matter yield, tissue P concentration and P removal.
Double-cropped ARG and CB were harvested as hay and analyzed as above through
2005, giving four years of data. In Spring 2002, four small sub-plots BG, CB, CG and
SG were established in the upper end of the main plots used in the primary study and
corresponding data for these warm-season forages was collected for three years.
Over four years, ARG removed more soil P than did CB (112 vs. 76 kg P ha-1,
averaged across all rates of previous PL application and soil Bray2 P levels) because of
higher tissue P concentration. The double-cropped hay system, therefore, removed
nearly 200 kg P ha-1 or reduced soil P by about 100 mg kg-1. Despite low tissue P
concentration, high biomass production by SG extracted an average of 64 kg P ha-1
annually over three years. This rate was significantly greater than that for CB, BG or
CB, and perhaps equaled or exceeded the combined rate for ARG and CB in the
Advisor:Lewis Gaston; Maud Walsh; Jim Wang
School:Louisiana State University in Shreveport
School Location:USA - Louisiana
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:agronomy environmental management
Date of Publication:07/13/2006