Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 260–270

Microbial, chemical and physical changes during composting of a eucalyptus (Eucalyptus calophylla and Eucalyptus diversicolor) bark mix

  • G. E. St. J. Hardy
  • K. Sivasithamparam
Article

Summary

Physical, chemical, and population changes among microorganisms in a eucalyptus bark mix were examined during composting. The microbial succession was studied in detail by dilution plating. The CO2 evolution corresponded to high microbial numbers. The pH increased rapidly, from 4 to 7.5, before stabilizing at approximately 6.5. Composting increased the availability of most nutrients. Initially, bacteria and filamentous fungi appeared to be the main decomposing organisms. With time, however, yeasts and actinomycetes increased in numbers. The numbers of spore-forming bacteria (Bacillus spp.) and pseudomonads also increased with time. The compost was initially phytotoxic, but ceased to be so within 76 days.

Key words

Hardwood barks Composting Actinomycetes Filamentous fungi Yeasts Pseudomonads Pectinolytic bacteria Sporeformers Phytotoxicity CO2 evolution pH Temperature Microbial succession 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. E. St. J. Hardy
    • 1
  • K. Sivasithamparam
    • 1
  1. 1.Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, School of AgricultureThe University of Western AustraliaNedlandsAustralia

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