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Fly Ash Addition Affects Microbial Biomass and Carbon Mineralization in Agricultural Soils

Abstract

The microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and carbon mineralization of fly ash (FA) amended soil at (0 %, 1.25 %, 2.5 %, 5 %, 10 % and 20 % FA; v/v) was investigated under laboratory conditions for 120 days at 60 % soil water-holding capacity and 25 ± 1°C temperature. The results demonstrated that soil respiration and microbial activities were not suppressed up to 2.5 % FA amendment and these activities decreased significantly at 10 % and 20 % FA treatment with respect to control. Application of 10 % and 20 % FA treated soils showed a decreasing trend of soil MBC with time; and the decrease was significant throughout the period of incubation. The study concluded that application of FA up to 2.5 % can thus be safely used without affecting the soil biological activity and thereby improve nutrient cycling in agricultural soils.

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Acknowledgments

Financial support provided by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India via the project “Confidence building and facilitation of large scale use of fly ash as an ameliorant and nutrient source for enhancing rice productivity and soil health” for this study is greatly appreciated.

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Correspondence to A. K. Nayak.

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Nayak, A.K., Kumar, A., Raja, R. et al. Fly Ash Addition Affects Microbial Biomass and Carbon Mineralization in Agricultural Soils. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 92, 160–164 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-013-1182-5

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Keywords

  • Fly ash
  • Cultivated soil
  • Microbial biomass carbon
  • Soil respiration