Soil and Tillage Research, 162 (2016) 46–54
Soils with a high weathering degree present great difficulties for management of phosphorus (P) fertilization due to their high adsorption rates. The magnitude and velocity of the P retention phenomena in these soils is still poorly understood and has great importance to effective management of soil phosphorus. The objective of this study was to evaluate the adsorption and desorption kinetics and phosphorus adsorption irreversibility (hysteresis) in highly weathered soils. For this purpose, we selected four soils: Xanthic Ferralsol-1 (FR-1), Xanthic Ferralsol-2 (FR-2), Rhodic Ferralsol (FR-3) and Hortic Anthrosol “Terra Preta de Índio” (AT). Adsorption followed by desorption experiments in Stirred flow chamber were performed. From obtained data, parameters related to P kinetics were estimated, considering the presence of two types of adsorption and desorption sites (fast and slow), estimating also the hysteresis index. It was observed that FR-2 and FR-3 showed higher P adsorption and most of the adsorbed P was at first 100 min of evaluation. Furthermore, in FR-1, FR-2 and FR-3, approximately half of adsorption occurred by rapid sites (F which is the fraction of fast sites ranging from 0.45 to 0.55), while AT adsorption was lower (qmax = 48.95 mg kg−1) and occurred slower (F = 0.33). In FR-2 and FR-3, between 71 and 72% of adsorbed P was not desorbed, while in AT, only 11% of P was irreversibly adsorbed. The P kinetics in highly weathered soils proved to be a process governed by the fast sites on adsorption and slow sites on desorption, resulting in high levels of hysteresis.