Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 20, pp 20169–20178 | Cite as

Heavy metal and δ13C value variations and characterization of dissolved organic matter (DOM) during vermicomposting of pig manure amended with 13C-labeled rice straw

  • Weiqin ZhuEmail author
  • Wu Yao
  • Xuyang Shen
  • Weiwen Zhang
  • Huiting Xu
Research Article


In this work, a mixture of pig manure and 13C-labeled rice straw was vermicomposted with Eisenia fetida for 40 days. The results showed that after they acclimated to the vermicomposting environment, the earthworms helped to degrade the substrate residues. After 40 days, the vermicomposting led to much higher pH, EC, C/N, available K, available P, available Zn, and CEC values but much lower available N and available Cu values in the substrate residues compared to the initial values. The earthworms accumulated 13C, Cu, and Zn with a heavy metal enrichment capacity in the order of Cu > Zn. Furthermore, the correlation analysis showed that the Cu and Zn content in the DOM was mainly controlled by the Cu and Zn content in the pig manure. The earthworms accumulated Cu and Zn by feeding on the substrate residues, but the DOM from the 13C-labeled rice straw helped to extract Zn from the substrate residues and promoted the migration of Zn into the earthworm tissues and/or DOM. Moreover, the characterization of the DOM extracted from the substrate residues revealed a decrease in the content of the aliphatic alcohols or polysaccharide-like substances and an increase in the aromatic compounds and fulvic or humic acid-like substances in the DOM as the vermicomposting time increased. This indicated that the higher humification degree in the DOM caused by vermicomposting contributed to the increased mobility of Zn in the substrate residues and helped Zn migrate into the earthworms or DOM.


Vermicomposting Heavy metal Dissolved organic matter δ13C label 



The authors wish to thank the Natural Foundation of ZheJiang Province (Y17B070028), the National Natural Foundation of China (B21207029), the Agricultural Scientific Research Projects of Hangzhou City (20180432B08), and the Xinmiao Talent Program of Zhejiang Province (No. 2017R423065) for their partial support of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weiqin Zhu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wu Yao
    • 1
  • Xuyang Shen
    • 1
  • Weiwen Zhang
    • 1
  • Huiting Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Hangzhou City for Ecosystem Protection and RestorationHangzhou Normal UniversityHangzhouChina

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