Potassium supplying capacity of some lowland soils under potassium fertilization and successive croppings
Keywords:Exchangeable K., Intense cropping, Non-exchangeable K., Soil potassium budget
The effects of intense cropping and potassium fertilization on potassium (K) dynamics and non-exchangeable K release from three lowland soils of Paraná State, Brazil, were investigated in this study. Samples of three lowland soils were fertilized or not with K and subjected to six successive croppings (soybeans, pearl millet, wheat, common beans, soybeans, and maize). The crops were grown in 8-L pots for 45 days, and at the end of the sixth cropping, the soil from each pot was sampled to the determination of soil K pools. The lowland soils differ in the ability to K supply to the plants in the short to medium term due to the wide range of origin material and the concentration of K in solution, exchangeable K, non-exchangeable K, and structural K. When the soils were not fertilized with K, the successive cropping resulted in continuous depletion process of non-exchangeable and exchangeable K; however, this depletion was less pronounced in soils with a higher potential buffer capacity of K. Non-exchangeable and exchangeable K concentrations were increased with the addition of K fertilizer, indicating the occurrence of K fixation in soil. The non-exchangeable K contribution to K nutrition of plants ranged from 44 to 69% in the treatments without the addition of K fertilizer, reporting the importance of non-exchangeable K pools in the supply of this nutrient to plants in agricultural production systems.