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Just add water and salt: the optimisation of petrogenic hydrocarbon biodegradation in soils from semi-arid Barrow Island, Western Australia

Tibbett, M., George, S. J., Davie, A., Barron, A., Milton, N. and Greenwood, P. F. (2011) Just add water and salt: the optimisation of petrogenic hydrocarbon biodegradation in soils from semi-arid Barrow Island, Western Australia. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 216 (1-4). pp. 513-525. ISSN 0049-6979

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s11270-010-0549-z

Abstract/Summary

We investigated the potential of soil moisture and nutrient amendments to enhance the biodegradation of oil in the soils from an ecologically unique semi-arid island. This was achieved using a series of controlled laboratory incubations where moisture or nutrient levels were experimentally manipulated. Respired CO2 increased sharply with moisture amendment reflecting the severe moisture limitation of these porous and semi-arid soils. The greatest levels of CO2 respiration were generally obtained with a soil pore water saturation of 50–70%. Biodegradation in these nutrient poor soils was also promoted by the moderate addition of a nitrogen fertiliser. Increased biodegradation was greater at the lowest amendment rate (100 mg N kg−1 soil) than the higher levels (500 or 1,000 mg N kg−1 soil), suggesting the higher application rates may introduce N toxicity. Addition of phosphorous alone had little effect, but a combined 500 mg N and 200 mg P kg−1 soil amendment led to a synergistic increase in CO2 respiration (3.0×), suggesting P can limit the biodegradation of hydrocarbons following exogenous N amendment.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:No
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:42816
Publisher:Springer

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