Effects of biosolids from tomato processing on soil fertility and wheat growth in a Greek alfisol
Samaras, V., Tsadilas, C. D., Stamatiadis, S. and Nortcliff, S. (2010) Effects of biosolids from tomato processing on soil fertility and wheat growth in a Greek alfisol. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 173 (2). pp. 252-259. ISSN 1436-8730
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/jpln.200800111
The effects of biosolids from tomato processing on soil properties and wheat growth were investigated in an Alfisol from central Greece. Biosolids were mixed with soil from the surface (Ap) or subsurface (Bt) horizon in plastic containers at rates of 1%, 5%, and 10% by dry weight (d.w.; equivalent to 10, 50, and 100 Mg ha–1). Biosolid treatments were compared to an NH4Cl application (50 mg N kg–1) and an untreated control in (1) a 102 d incubation experiment at 28°C to determine biosolid nitrification potential and (2) a 45 d outdoor experiment to evaluate effects on soil fertility and wheat growth. Mineralization of biosolids in the incubation experiment resulted in accumulation of nitrate-N and indicated that biosolids were able to supply N that was in excess of crop needs in treatments of 5% and 10%. After 45 d of wheat growth, available soil nutrients (N, P) and P uptake by wheat were distinctly lower in the Bt than in the Ap horizon. However, soil pH, electrical conductivity, organic matter, total N, nitrate-N, extractable P, and exchangeable K increased with increasing rate of biosolid application in both soils. These were followed by corresponding increases in wheat nutrient uptake and biomass production, thus demonstrating the importance of this organic material for sustaining production in soils of low immediate fertility. Compared to the NH4Cl treatment (50 kg N ha–1 equivalent), biosolid application rates of 5% and 10% had higher available soil nutrients, similar or higher nutrient uptake and higher wheat biomass. But only an application of 10% biosolids provided sufficient N levels for wheat in the surface soil, and even higher applications were required for providing sufficient N and P in the Bt horizon.