Theses and Dissertations

Title: Determination of phosphorus fertilization rate for bluegill ponds

Name: Wudtisin, Wararat

Degree: MS

Chair: Claude E. Boyd


University: Auburn University

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 2003

Pages: 50

Keywords: Buegill,Phosphorus fertilization


An experiment was conducted in which one each of 12 phosphorus fertilizer doses (0 to 7 kg P2O5/ha) were applied at 2-week intervals to individual bluegill ponds at the Auburn University Fisheries Research Unit, Auburn, Alabama. Each pond received a nitrogen dose twice the P2O5 dose. Bluegill production ranged from 218 to 558 kg/ha. Treatments of 3 kg P2O5/ha per application or more had bluegill production of 500 kg/ha or greater. The regression equation between phosphorus dose and bluegill production was:Y - 223.05 + 63.11x + 13.07x2 + 2.41x3, R2 = 0.921 The maximum production of bluegill was achieved at 5 kg P2O5/ha per application, but doses of 3 and 4 kg P2O5/ha per application were only slightly inferior. Thus, 3 to 5 kg P2O5/ha per application would be an acceptable range for phosphorus fertilization of sunfish ponds with the lower rate for ponds with fertile water and the higher rate for less fertile ponds. The current recommendation for phosphorus fertilization of sportfish ponds in the southeastern United States is 4 kg P2O5/ha per application. This recommendation was developed at Auburn University in traditional experiments with two or three treatments replicated three to five times over many years. The present study, using un-replicated ponds and a wide range of phosphorus doses, provided a similar, but more precise, estimate of optimum phosphorus dose in a single year. The highest correlations between water quality variables and fertilizer inputs were for total phosphorus, total nitrogen, turbidity, and chlorophyll a. These four variables should be measured in pond fertilization experiments.

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