Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 31, pp 32624–32635 | Cite as

Azolla pinnata, Aspergillus terreus, and Eisenia fetida for fasterrecycling of nutrients from wheat straw

  • Manveen Arora
  • Arvinder KaurEmail author
Research Article


A vast amount of surplus wheat straw/stubble (a carbon-rich bioresource) is wasted every year by burning. Harmful gases and residue matter released due to burning cause harmful effects on the environment and human health. Therefore, there is a strong need to recycle this bioresource in a sustainable manner. In the present study, wheat straw (W) was spiked with cattle dung (C), Azolla pinnata (A), and Aspergillus terreus (F) to make eight different treatments (1 kg each), viz. W (1 kg), WC (666 g + 334 g), WA (980 g + 20 g), WF (980 g + 20 ml), WCF (666 g + 314 g + 20 ml), WCA (666 g + 314 g + 20 g), WFA (960 g+ 20 ml + 20 g), and WCFA(666 g + 294 g + 20 ml + 20 g), and subjected to vermicomposting (Vcom) and aerobic composting (Acom). A comparison was made for the time required for degradation and nutrient profile of the products. The fastest recycling of wheat straw/stubble (120 days) was observed in WCA and WCFA, but the nutrient quality of WCA was better (N 18.67, P 3.88, K 38.84 g/kg). In the Acom group, longer time was required for degradation of various mixtures, but in this group also, WCA was degraded first of all (138 days) and yielded a product with the best nutrient quality (N 14.77, P 2.56, K 28.80 g/kg). Maximum growth of E. fetida and maximum number of hatchlings were observed in WCA while the highest cocoon production was observed in WCFA. It was observed that azolla enhanced conversion of wheat straw into a nutrient-rich product for agronomic use. Thus its use will reduce the amount of cattle dung in the mixture and the bulk to be handled by the farmers for ecosafe disposal of surplus straw/stubble. Therefore, this technology can be adopted as an alternative to burning.


Wheat straw/stubble Azolla pinnata Cattle dung Aspergillus terreus Eisenia fetida 



The help of Dr. Rubina Sharma for statistical analysis is duly acknowledged.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


The authors express their gratitude to the Department of Science and Technology Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) fellowship and UGC-SAP for financial assistance.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia

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