Skip to main content

Data from: Environmental drivers of soil phosphorus composition in natural ecosystems


Deiss, Leonardo; de Moraes, Anibal; Maire, Vincent (2019), Data from: Environmental drivers of soil phosphorus composition in natural ecosystems, Dryad, Dataset,


Abstract. Soil organic and inorganic phosphorus (P) compounds can be influenced by distinctive environmental properties. This study aims to analyze soil P composition in natural ecosystems, relating organic (inositol hexakisphosphate, DNA and phosphonates) and inorganic (orthophosphate, polyphosphate and pyrophosphate) compounds with major temporal (weathering), edaphic and climatic characteristics. A dataset including 88 sites was assembled from published papers that determined soil P composition using one-dimensional liquid state 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of NaOH-EDTA extracts of soils. Bivariate and multivariate regression models were used to better understand the environmental properties influencing soil P. In bivariate relationships, trends for soil P compounds were similar for mineral and organic layers but with different slopes. Independent and combined effects of weathering, edaphic and climatic properties of ecosystems explained up to 78% (inositol hexakisphosphates) and 89% (orthophosphate) of variations in organic and inorganic P compounds across the ecosystems, likely deriving from parent material differences. Soil properties, particularly pH, total carbon, and carbon-to-phosphorus ratios, over climate and weathering mainly explained the P variation. We conclude that edaphic and climatic drivers regulate key ecological processes that determine the soil P composition in natural ecosystems. These processes are related to the source of P inputs, primarily determined by the parent material and soil forming factors, plant and microbe P cycling, the bio-physico-chemical properties governing soil phosphatase activity, soil solid surface specific reactivity, and P losses through leaching, and finally the P persistence induced by the increasing complexity of organic and inorganic P compounds as the pedogenesis evolves. Soil organic and inorganic P compounds respond differently to combinations of environmental drivers, which likely indicates that each P compound has specific factors governing its presence in natural ecosystems.

Usage notes