In a study of soils from a chronosequence in southern New Mexico, where CaCO3 accumulation is primarily derived from aeolian input, P adsorption was greatest in the most highly calcic horizons and least in horizons of clay and oxyhydroxide accumulation. Similarly, adsorption capacity was most highly correlated with CaCO3 content. Iron and Al oxyhydroxide contents increased with increasing soil age, and absolute levels were as high as in calcareous soils developed in more humid conditions. Calcium carbonate appears to be the primary geochemical agent capable of the fixation and retention of P within the soil profile in this ecosystem.
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