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Desorption and transformation of zinc in a mollisol and its uptake by plants in a rice–wheat rotation fertilized with either zinc-enriched biosludge from molasses or with inorganic zinc


Laboratory and greenhouse investigations were carried out with 65Zn-labeled sources to study the kinetics of desorption, transformation, and availability of Zn applied to soil as zinc-enriched biosludge from distillery molasses (ZEMB) or as zinc sulfate heptahydrate (ZSH). Desorption (0.5 to 72 h) of added Zn by the column method followed a biphasic kinetics with an initial (up to 12 h) faster phase followed by a slower desorption phase. The desorption rate coefficient (K) of the latter phase and the amount of Zn desorbed during 12 to 72 h were significantly higher with ZEMB than with ZSH. Sequential extraction of Zn added as ZEMB and ZSH showed that Zn added as ZEMB was present in higher proportion as water soluble + exchangeable, carbonate bound, organically bound, and reducible fractions than Zn applied as ZSH, which showed a higher proportion of residual fraction. Under greenhouse conditions, dry matter yield (35 days) and total Zn uptake by rice fertilized with ZSH applied at 5 kg Zn ha−1 were statistically similar to those of rice treated with 2.5 kg Zn ha−1 supplied as ZEMB. The highest Zn uptake (167.08 μg pot−1) by rice was recorded in the treatment with 5 kg Zn ha−1 as ZEMB. For wheat plants grown after the harvest of rice, significantly higher dry matter yield over control was recorded in the treatment with ZEMB applied at 5 kg Zn ha−1 to rice. Total Zn uptake by wheat was statistically similar for both ZEMB and ZSH treatments at 5 kg Zn ha−1 dose. Both zinc derived from fertilizer and the percent utilization of fertilizer Zn by rice and by the subsequent wheat crop were significantly higher with ZEMB than with ZSH.

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This work was financed by the Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences, Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India (2004/35/8/BRNS/257).

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Correspondence to Prakash C. Srivastava.

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Patent filed No. 757/MUM/2007 dated 19.04.2007

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Srivastava, P.C., Singh, A.P., Kumar, S. et al. Desorption and transformation of zinc in a mollisol and its uptake by plants in a rice–wheat rotation fertilized with either zinc-enriched biosludge from molasses or with inorganic zinc. Biol Fertil Soils 44, 1035–1041 (2008).

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  • Molasses based distilleries
  • Post-methanation biosludge
  • Zn sources
  • 65Zn
  • Radiotracer