, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 1366–1377 | Cite as

Time-dependent effect of composted tannery sludge on the chemical and microbial properties of soil

  • Ricardo Silva de Sousa
  • Vilma Maria Santos
  • Wanderley Jose de Melo
  • Luis Alfredo Pinheiro Leal Nunes
  • Paul J. van den Brink
  • Ademir Sérgio Ferreira AraújoEmail author


Composting has been suggested as an efficient method for tannery sludge recycling before its application to the soil. However, the application of composted tannery sludge (CTS) should be monitored to evaluate its effect on the chemical and microbial properties of soil. This study evaluated the time-dependent effect of CTS on the chemical and microbial properties of soil. CTS was applied at 0, 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 Mg ha−1 and the soil chemical and microbial properties were evaluated at 0, 45, 75, 150, and 180 days. Increased CTS rates increased the levels of Ca, Cr, and Mg. While Soil pH, organic C, and P increased with the CTS rates initially, this effect decreased over time. Soil microbial biomass, respiration, metabolic quotient, and dehydrogenase increased with the application of CTS, but decreased over time. Analysis of the Principal Response Curve showed a significant effect of CTS rate on the chemical and microbial properties of the soil over time. The weight of each variable indicated that all soil properties, except β-glucosidase, dehydrogenase and microbial quotient, increased due to the CTS application. However, the highest weights were found for Cr, pH, Ca, P, phosphatase and total organic C. The application of CTS in the soil changed the chemical and microbial properties over time, indicating Cr, pH, Ca, phosphatase, and soil respiration as the more responsive chemical and microbial variables by CTS application.


Ecotoxicology Waste management Soil properties Soil pollution 



This research was funded by “Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico” (grants 471347/2013-2; and 305102/2014-1) and “Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior” (Proc. CAPES 23038.007660/2011-51). A.S.F Araújo is supported by a personal grant from CNPq-Brazil.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

10646_2017_1861_MOESM1_ESM.docx (62 kb)
Supplementary Information
10646_2017_1861_MOESM2_ESM.docx (62 kb)
Supplementary Information


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo Silva de Sousa
    • 1
  • Vilma Maria Santos
    • 1
  • Wanderley Jose de Melo
    • 2
  • Luis Alfredo Pinheiro Leal Nunes
    • 1
  • Paul J. van den Brink
    • 3
    • 4
  • Ademir Sérgio Ferreira Araújo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Soil Quality Lab., Agricultural Science CenterFederal University of PiauíTeresinaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Technology, Sao Paulo State University, JaboticabalBrasil UniversityDescalvadoBrazil
  3. 3.Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra)WageningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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