The relationship between the phosphate sorption capacity of a range of acid soils of southeastern Nigeria and the dry matter yield of maize was investigated in a greenhouse pot experiment. Phosphate sorption capacity ranged between 19.0 kg P/ha and 440.8 kg P/ha, and bore a significant inverse relationship (r = −0.70) with P availability percentage. Aging of P in the soil for 1 to 6 months reduced responses to the applied P by 6.4 to 21.3 percent, the reduction being highly significantly correlated with the P sorption capacity (r = 0.83).
Liming reduced the dry matter yield of maize for all soils with a pH above 4.7, but greatly increased it for soils with a lower pH. The lack of response to applied P in a soil with a pH of 4.2 was attributed to aluminium toxicity, rather than to phosphate fixation.
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