Phosphorus in soils and fluvial sediments from a Cerrado biome watershed under agricultural expansion. Academic Article uri icon


  • Over the past decades, lands alongside Gurguia River have witnessed rapid expansion of soybean agriculture which has increased soil degradation and affected nutrient concentration in sediment, especially phosphorus (P). The present study aimed to quantify the P concentration in soils under different land uses (i.e., croplands, grasslands, and cerrado) and fluvial sediments (suspended sediment, channel bank, and riverbed sediments), assessing pollution over the main watercourse in cerrado biome Gurguia watershed, located in Piau State, Brazil. In total, 136 compositesoil samples at a depth of 0-5cm, under different land uses, as well as 51 composite fluvial sediment samples were collected over the watershed. The land use change from native cerrado had resulted in an increase of total phosphorus (TP) whose concentration was higher in cropland areas, followed by suspended sediment, channel bank, and riverbed sediments. This high concentration in cropland areas resulted from phosphate fertilizer inputs. The transfer of phosphorus to water bodies was evidenced, since an increase of TP was observed in suspended sediment, channel bank and riverbed sediments. Mineralogical signatures in sediments were identified by X-ray diffraction analysis which showed the occurrence of kaolinite, illite, smectite, iron oxides, and other minerals in lesser proportions. The presence of 1:1 minerals was higher in riverbed sediments and downstream sampling points, while 2:1 minerals were present in higher proportions in suspended sediment and channel bank sediment, as well as at the upstream and middle sampling points. This finding shows that land use change from cerrado to cropland due to soybean agriculture expansion might increase P discharges from terrestrial to aquatic environments, with sediments being the major carrier of this element.

published proceedings

  • Environ Monit Assess

author list (cited authors)

  • Rim, F. B., da Silva, Y., Teixeira, M., Maia, A. J., Assis, K., da Silva, R., ... Singh, V. P.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Rimá, Fernando Braga||da Silva, Yuri Jacques Agra Bezerra||Teixeira, Marcos Paulo Rodrigues||Maia, Angelo Jamil||Assis, Kamylla Gonçalves Oliveira||da Silva, Rayanna Jacques Agra Bezerra||de Souza Júnior, Valdomiro Severino||da Silva, Ygor Jacques Agra Bezerra||Lopes, José Wellington Batista||Barbosa, Ronny Sobreira||Singh, Vijay P

publication date

  • April 2022