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BACKGROUND: Soil utilization pattern can be the main factor affecting soil physico-chemical properties, especially in soil phosphorus (P). Understanding the distribution and bioavailability of P is important for developing management to minimize P release from arable soils to environment. This study was conducted to evaluate the potential bioavailability of soil organic P by using phosphatase hydrolysis method. METHODS AND RESULTS: Twenty-four soils from onion-rice double cropping and 30 soils from plastic film house were selected from Changyeong and Daegok in Gyeongnam province, respectively. The P accumulation pattern (total P, inorganic P, organic P, residual P) and water soluble P were characterized. Commercial phosphatase enzymes were used to classify water-extractable molybdate unreactive P from arable soils into compounds that could be hydrolysed by (i) alkaline phosphomonoesterase (comprising labile orthophosphate monoesters), (ii) a combination of alkaline phosphomonoesterase and phosphodiesterase (comprising labile orthophosphate monoesters and diesters),and (ⅲ) phytase (including inositol hexakisphosphate). Available P was highly accumulated with 616 and 1,208mg/kg in double cropping system and plastic film house,respectively. Dissolved reactive P (DRP) and dissolved unreactive P (DUP) had similar trends with available P,showing 24 and 109 mg/kg in double cropping and 37 and 159 mg/kg in plastic film house, respectively, indicating that important role of dissolved organic P in the environments had been underestimated. From the result of phosphatase hydrolysis, about 39% and 66% of DUP was evaluated as bioavailable in double cropping and plastic film house,respectively. CONCLUSION(S): Orthophosphate monoester and orthophosphate diester accounted for high portion of dissolved organic P in arable soils, indicating that these organic P forms give important impacts on bioavailability of P released from P accumulated soils.