Agricultural use of sewage sludge under sub-humid Mediterranean conditions: effect on growth, yield, and metal content of a forage plant

  • Rajia KchaouEmail author
  • Rim Baccar
  • Jalel Bouzid
  • Saloua Rejeb
EMCEI 2017
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Water resources and water management for environmental integration in the Euro-Mediterranean region


A field experiment was carried out in order to investigate the effects of sewage sludge application on the growth and yield components of triticale (X Triticosecale Wittmack). Five treatments were compared: a control (C) without application of sludge or nitrogen fertilization; a mineral fertilization treatment (MF) applied as ammonium nitrate; and three sewage sludge treatments (SS), 6, 12, and 18 t ha−1, applied 15 days prior to triticale sowing. The main results showed that SS application improved plant growth by increasing leaf area index, tillering capacity, accumulated aboveground dry matter, and plant height of triticale. As a result, 18 t ha−1 of SS could be recommended the suitable dose for triticale, where dry matter production was more than twofold above the control value. No toxic effects arising from the heavy metals in triticale plants were observed. The Cu concentration was the only trace element that increased in the straw tissues with sludge application, although the values recorded were below critical environmental thresholds. Furthermore, growth and yield responses of triticale to all SS rates are comparable even sometimes more important than those for mineral fertilizer.


Triticale Sewage sludge Growth Production Heavy metals 


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajia Kchaou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rim Baccar
    • 2
  • Jalel Bouzid
    • 2
  • Saloua Rejeb
    • 3
  1. 1.Regional Field Crop Research CenterBejaTunisia
  2. 2.ENIS, Laboratory of Environmental Engineering and Eco TechnologyUniversity of Sfax-TunisiaSfaxTunisia
  3. 3.National Research Institute of Rural Engineering, Water and ForestArianaTunisia

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