Phosphorus Use Efficiency and Fertilizers: future opportunities for improvements

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Blackwell, M. S. A., Darch, T. and Haslam, R. P. 2019. Phosphorus Use Efficiency and Fertilizers: future opportunities for improvements. Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering.

AuthorsBlackwell, M. S. A., Darch, T. and Haslam, R. P.

The continued supply of phosphate fertilizers that underpin global food production is an imminent crisis. The rock phosphate deposits on which the world depends are not only finite, but some are contaminated, and many are located in geopolitically unstable areas, meaning that fundamental changes will have to take place in order to maintain food production for a growing global population. No single
solution exists, but a combination of approaches to phosphorus management is required not only to extend
the lifespan of the remaining non-renewable rock phosphate reserves, but to result in a more efficient, sustainable phosphorus cycle. Solutions include improving the efficiency of fertilizer applications to agricultural land, alongside a better understanding of phosphorus cycling in soil-plant systems, and the interactions between soil physics, chemistry and biology, coupled with plant traits. Opportunities exist for the development of plants that can access different forms of soil phosphorus (e.g., organic phosphorus) and that use internal phosphorus more efficiently. The development of different sources of phosphorus fertilizers are inevitably required given the finite nature of the rock phosphate supplies. Clear opportunities exist, and it is now important that a concerted effort to make advances in phosphorus use efficiency is prioritized.

Keywordsorganic phosphorus; phosphorus fertilizer; phosphorus use efficiency; rock phosphate
Year of Publication2019
JournalFrontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15302/J-FASE-2019274
Web address (URL)
Open accessPublished as green open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 2 (WP2) - Adaptive management systems for improved efficiency and nutritional quality
S2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 1 (WP1) - Optimising nutrient flows and pools in the soil-plant-biota system
ASSIST - Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems
Tailoring Plant Metabolism ISP
Publisher's version
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusE-publication ahead of print
Publication dates
Online30 Jul 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted29 Jul 2019
Copyright licenseCC BY
PublisherFrontiers Media SA
Higher Education Press

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