Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 93, Issue 6, pp 2633–2643 | Cite as

Effect of compost, nitrogen salts, and NPK fertilizers on methane oxidation potential at different temperatures

  • Louis-B. JugniaEmail author
  • Yaseen Mottiar
  • Euphrasie Djuikom
  • Alexandre R. Cabral
  • Charles W. Greer
Environmental biotechnology


The effects of compost, nitrogen salts, and nitrogen–phosphorous–potassium (NPK) fertilizers on the methane oxidation potential (MOP) of landfill cover soil at various temperatures were assessed. For this, we used batch assays conducted at 5°C, 15°C, and 25°C with microcosms containing landfill cover soil slurries amended with these elements. Results indicated variable impacts dependent on the type of amendment and the incubation temperature. For a given incubation temperature, MOP varied from one compost to another and with the amount of compost added, except for the shrimp/peat compost. With this latter compost, independent of the amount, MOP values remained similar and were significantly higher than those obtained with other composts. Amendment with most of the tested nitrogen salts led to similar improvements in methanotrophic activity, except for urea. MOP with NPK fertilizer addition was amongst the highest in this study; the minimum value obtained with NPK (20–0–20) suggested the importance of P for methanotrophs. MOP generally increased with temperature, and nutrient limitation became less important at higher temperatures. Overall, at each of the three temperatures tested, MOP with NPK fertilizer amendments provided the best results and was comparable to those observed with the addition of the shrimp/peat compost. The results of this study provide the first evidence of the following: (1) compost addition to improve methanotrophic activity in a landfill cover soil should consider the amount and type of compost used and (2) the importance of using NPK fertilizers rather than nitrogen salts, in enhancing this activity, primarily at low temperatures. One can also consider the potential beneficial impact of adding these elements to enhance plant growth, which is an advantage for MOP.


Methanotrophs Potential activity Compost Nitrogen salts NPK fertilizers 



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support by the National Research Council Canada through the Biotechnology Research Institute including a summer research studentship for Y.M. Also, E.D. was supported by the fellowship program “Professeur Invité du Sud” from “l'Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie”, sponsored by A.R.C. We also acknowledge the contribution of Waste Management and NSERC (Canada) under the Cooperative Research and Development grant CRD 379885-08.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis-B. Jugnia
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yaseen Mottiar
    • 1
  • Euphrasie Djuikom
    • 2
  • Alexandre R. Cabral
    • 3
  • Charles W. Greer
    • 1
  1. 1.National Research Council CanadaBiotechnology Research InstituteMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of SciencesUniversity of DoualaDoualaCameroon
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada

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