Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 171, Issue 1–4, pp 315–331 | Cite as

Effective Nutrient Sources for Plant Growth on Bauxite Residue: II. Evaluating the Response to Inorganic Fertilizers

  • Judy Eastham
  • Tim Morald


An integral part of managing dust emissions from bauxite residue storage areas in Western Australia is the establishment of native vegetation and dust control crops. Recent changes to local health department regulations preclude the routine use of poultry manure, the previous standard fertilizer for growing dust control crops on bauxite residue sand. This paper reports on a field evaluation of different forms of inorganic fertilizer, to assess their effectiveness as alternatives to poultry manure for supplying nutrients to dust control crops. We compared plant growth and nutrient uptake under different forms of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilizers with additional potassium (K) and trace elements.

A diammonium phosphate (DAP) based fertilizer blend which supplied 270 kg N ha−1 of N and 307.5 kg P ha−1 was found to be more effective than a superphosphate based blend containing the same amounts of these nutrients. The DAP treatment did not respond to topdressing with different N fertilizers, but plant growth in the superphosphate treatment was responsive to topdressing with N. Of the three different nitrogenous fertilizers evaluated for topdressing the superphosphate treatment (ammonium sulphate, diammonium phosphate, and urea), the ammonium based fertilizers were most effective. The DAP blend was the most cost effective of all the fertilizers studied, costing only A$1070 ha−1 compared with A$2473 ha−1 for the superphosphate blend and A$1600 ha−1 for poultry manure. We concluded that the DAP fertilizer blend could be used as an effective replacement for poultry manure for growing dust control crops on bauxite residue sand.


Bauxite residue dust control fertilizers plant nutrients rehabilitation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alcoa World Alumina AustraliaPerthAustralia
  2. 2.WembleyAustralia

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