Plant and Soil

, Volume 171, Issue 2, pp 303–316 | Cite as

Effect of wastewater sludge on growth and heavy metal bioaccumulation of two Salix species

  • Michel Labrecque
  • Traian I. Teodorescu
  • Stéphane Daigle
Research Article


Fast-growing tree species, such as willows, can benefit from sludge application. While sludges are good fertilizers, they may contain heavy metals which could reduce productivity and cause environment risks. The aims of the present research were to: i) determine the biomass production of Salix discolor Mühl. and Salix viminalis L. when supplied with various amounts of dried and pelleted sludge and ii) assess the uptake and accumulation of heavy metals. Trials were carried out using unrooted cuttings that were planted in large plastic pots containing sandy soil and grown outdoors for a 20-week period. Five doses of sludge were applied: the equivalents of 0 (T0), 40 (T1), 80 (T2), 120 (T3), 160 (T4) and 200 (T5) kg “available” N ha-1. Trees which received the highest dosage of sludge showed the best growth. Stem biomass was significantly greater for S. viminalis which had received sludge treatments. The relationship between the total biomass yield Y (g) and the rate of fertilization X (equivalent to kg of “available” nitrogen provided per hectare) is linear. Regression equations of predicted biomass production were established as follows: S. discolor, Y=28.36+0.56X and S. viminalis, Y=39.95+0.64X. For both species, the greatest stem biomass per g of N applied was produced with treatment 4 and 5. Amounts of nitrogen per leaf area (N/LA) and per dry leaf mass (N/DL) were higher for S. viminalis. The metal transfer coefficient did not vary between the species but was significantly different for Cd and Zn. Plants were able to absorb Cd and Zn, but were less able to absorb Ni, Hg, Cu, and Pb. It was concluded that the dried and pelleted sludge is a good fertilizer. S. discolor and particularly S. viminalis can be used as filters for the purification of wastewater sludge as well as for biomass production purposes. R F Huettl Section editor

Key words

bioavailability fertilization heavy metals productivity Salix wastewater sludge 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel Labrecque
    • 1
  • Traian I. Teodorescu
    • 1
  • Stéphane Daigle
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de Recherche en Biologie VégétaleJardin Botanique de MontréalMontréalCanada, HIX 2B2

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