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Soil Depletion of Ca, Mg and K Due to Vicinal Intensive Hog Farming Operation Located in East Mediterranean

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Abstract

One of the main environmental impacts of concentrated animal feeding operations is soil degradation in the vicinity of the livestock breeding facilities due to substances such as ammonia emitted from the various stages of the process. In this research, the soil degradation effects of an intensive hog farming operation (IHFO) located at a Mediterranean limestone soil coastal area have been investigated. Soil samples of the upper mineral soil were taken in various distances and directions from the IHFO boundaries. Thirteen experimental cycles were carried out in the duration of 1.5 years starting in March 2009 until October 2010. The soil samples were analysed on total, exchangeable and water-soluble Ca, Mg and K as well as water-soluble ammonium concentrations. Significantly lower concentrations of the exchangeable and water-soluble base cations were observed on soil samples at increasing proximity downwind from the farm (south). Southern soil average concentrations of exchangeable base cations ranged between 78.6 and 128.52 mmol Ca2+ kg−1 soil, 8.42–21.39 mmol Mg2+ kg−1 soil and 4.25–8.1 mmol K+ kg−1 soil, respectively. Southern soil average concentrations of water-soluble base cations ranged between 0.57 and 2.17 mmol Ca2+ kg−1 soil, 0.16–0.89 mmol Mg2+ kg−1 soil and 0.48–0.95 mmol K+ kg−1 soil, respectively.

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Correspondence to Stylianos Liodakis.

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Michalopoulos, C., Liodakis, S. Soil Depletion of Ca, Mg and K Due to Vicinal Intensive Hog Farming Operation Located in East Mediterranean. Water Air Soil Pollut 223, 4565–4575 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-012-1218-1

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Keywords

  • East Mediterranean
  • Environmental impacts
  • Intensive hog farming operations
  • Soil depletion of Ca, Mg and K