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Plants 2018, 7(1), 16; doi:10.3390/plants7010016

Effects of Medium-Term Amendment with Diversely Processed Sewage Sludge on Soil Humification—Mineralization Processes and on Cu, Pb, Ni, and Zn Bioavailability

Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e L’analisi Dell’economia Agraria, Centro di Ricerca Agricoltura e Ambiente (CREA-AA), via della Navicella 4, 00184 Roma, Italy
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Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 2 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Fertility and Nutrient Cycling)
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Abstract

The organic fraction of sewage sludge administered to agricultural soil can contribute to slowing down the loss of soil’s organic carbon and, in some cases, can improve the physical and mechanical properties of the soil. One of the main constraints to the agricultural use of sewage sludge is its heavy metals content. In the long term, agricultural administration of sewage sludge to soil could enhance the concentration of soil heavy metals (as total and bioavailable fractions). The aim of this research was to evaluate the effects of medium-term fertilization with diversely processed sewage sludge on the soil’s organic carbon content and humification–mineralization processes, on the physical–mechanical properties of soil and their influence on the pool of potentially bioavailable heavy metals, in order to assess their effectiveness as soil organic amendments. After eight years of sludge administration; an increase in the concentrations of bioavailable form was evidenced in all the heavy metals analyzed; independently of the type of sludge administered. The form of sludge administration (liquid, dehydrated, composted) has differently influenced the soil humification–mineralization processes and the physical–mechanical properties of soil. The prolonged amendment with composted sewage sludge contributed to keeping the soil humification–mineralization process in equilibrium and to improving the physical and mechanical qualities of the treated soil. View Full-Text
Keywords: sewage sludge amendment; soil organic carbon; composted sewage sludge; heavy metals bioavailability sewage sludge amendment; soil organic carbon; composted sewage sludge; heavy metals bioavailability
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Rossi, G.; Beni, C. Effects of Medium-Term Amendment with Diversely Processed Sewage Sludge on Soil Humification—Mineralization Processes and on Cu, Pb, Ni, and Zn Bioavailability. Plants 2018, 7, 16.

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