Measurement of microbial biomass phosphorus in soil

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Brookes, P. C., Powlson, D. S. and Jenkinson, D. S. 1982. Measurement of microbial biomass phosphorus in soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 14 (4), pp. 319-329.

AuthorsBrookes, P. C., Powlson, D. S. and Jenkinson, D. S.

A method for measuring the amount of P held in soil micro-organisms (biomass P) is described and the assumptions on which it is based are discussed. Biomass P is calculated from the difference between the amount of inorganic P (Pi) extracted by 0.5 (Spm) NaHCO3 (pH 8.5) from fresh soil fumigated with CHCl3 and the amount extracted from unfumigated soil. Some CHCl3-released Pi is sorbed by soil during fumigation and extraction: an approximate allowance for this is made by incorporating a known quantity of Pi during extraction and correcting for recovery. Most of the P released is in inorganic form and the proportion increases with duration of fumigation. Non-microbial P is little, if at all, affected by fumigation. Microbial biomass P is calculated from CHCl3-released Pi by dividing by 0.4, i.e. by assuming that 40% of the P in the biomass is rendered extractable as Pi by CHCl3. Measurements of biomass P must be done in fresh soil, CHCl3 releases much less P in air-dry soil. 

KeywordsRRES175; 175_Soil science
Year of Publication1982
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Journal citation14 (4), pp. 319-329
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderRothamsted Research
Publication process dates
Accepted01 Dec 1981
Copyright licensePublisher copyright

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