Repeated and excessive use of inorganic phosphorus fertilisers adversely affects soil fertility, reduces plant phosphorus (P)-use efficiency, increases soil heavy metal concentrations and poses human health risks via food chain interaction. Organic amendments (OAs) are considered as cost-effective and environment-friendly supplement to inorganic P fertilisers that are produced from scarce phosphate rocks. Numerous studies have reported the synergistic and antagonistic effects of OAs on crop production, P solubility and availability, and immobilisation of heavy metals. However, the results of these studies are found to be variable and demand a critical review. This article summarises the environmental and health implications of continuous inorganic P fertilisers application along with a detailed overview of commonly available OAs and their efficacy to stimulate plant growth and yield. Moreover, this review describes the potentiality of OAs to increase the bioavailability of P in soil, discusses how and to what extent these soil amendments can immobilise heavy metals and reduce plant uptake, and finally provides future research directions for organic farming and sustainable agricultural practices.
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Vol. 73 • No. 7-8