Phosphorus (P) solubilization in soils is a crucial process for ecosystem nutrition and ecosystem development. Previous research on biogenic P solubilization focused on single microbial strains, but little is known about P solubilization as a process of soil formation and ecosystem development. The general objective of the project is to gain understanding on how microbial and plant mediated P solubilization and silicate weathering influence the formation of soil and its P forms. For this purpose, we will quantify the rates of P solubilization and of silicate weathering in a sequence of soils on granites of different stages of development in the coastal range of Chile. We aim at determining mechanisms of microbial P solubilization such as the release of protons and organic acid anions, the factors controlling P solubilization, and the abundance of P-solubilizing bacteria at different stages of soil development. The rates of P solubilization and silicate weathering will be related to soil P fractions (Hedley fractions) that have formed during pedogenesis. We will test the hypothesis that mechanisms, rates, controlling factors and abundances of P-solubilizing bacteria strongly change during soil development. The main value of the project will be that it relates microbial P solubilization taking place at a time scale of several weeks to the development of soils and P fractions taking place over hundreds of years.
DFG funding ID 280611154