Soil Erosion

One of the most important results derived from the phosphorus budget (cf.Table 3) is that the world cropland has lost phosphorus at a surprising rate of 10.5 MMT Pyr- . This massive loss from croplands is mainly caused by wind and water erosion of topsoil. Soil erosion has been recognized as one ofthe most serious environmental crisis suffering the world. It is estimated that 10 million ha of cropland is abandoned each year worldwide due to lack of productivity caused by the soil erosion. Nearly 60% of present soil erosion is induced by human activity, increasing 17% since the early 1900s.

In contrast to the erosion loss, a huge amount of phosphorus has been mobilized in cultivated soils. Contemporary scientific knowledge cannot fully explain the complex transportation of phosphorus between plant roots, soil waters, and soil particulates. More complete understanding of these processes might suggest a possibility of controllable remobilization of soil phosphorus that would benefit the environment via reducing both the input of fertilizers and the loss of phosphorus from soils.

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