Phosphorus runoff relationships for Louisiana Coastal Plain soils amended with poultry litter

J Environ Qual. Jul-Aug 2003;32(4):1422-9. doi: 10.2134/jeq2003.1422.


Long-term application of poultry (Gallus gallus domesticus) litter has built high levels of P in certain Coastal Plain soils of north Louisiana. However, soil P/runoff P relationships for soil and environmental conditions of the area have not been examined. This study measured soil P (total, Bray 1, Bray 2, Mehlich 3, resin-exchangeable, and water-extractable) and runoff P (dissolved P, DP; and total P, TP) at four pasture sites previously amended with poultry litter. Sites varied in soil P due to annual litter applications ranging from 1 to more than 20. Three replicated plots at each site were subjected to simulated rainfalls over 2 yr, and concentrations of DP and TP in runoff were measured and related to soil P. This allowed examination of soil P/runoff P relationships and their changes over time. Runoff DP was also related to DP desorbed from surface soil in a miscible displacement experiment. Among measures of soil P, only resin-exchangeable and water-extractable P showed significant decreases over 2 yr. These measures of soil P explained 54 to 64% of the variability in runoff DP data. However, the miscible displacement technique proved the best indicator of runoff DP, explaining 70% of the variability. Runoff varied among sites (decreasing with increasing years of litter application), limiting the predictive capability of the soil extraction methods. Linking runoff characteristics with miscible displacement data may be a useful predictive tool and warrants further examination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chickens
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Louisiana
  • Manure*
  • Phosphorus / analysis*
  • Rain*
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*
  • Water Movements
  • Water Pollutants / analysis*


  • Manure
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Water Pollutants
  • Phosphorus