Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 158, Issue 1, pp 401–418 | Cite as

Dynamics of Organic C Mineralization and the Mobile Fraction of Heavy Metals in a Calcareous Soil Incubated with Organic Wastes



Organic wastes such as sewage sludge and compost increase the input of carbon and nutrients to the soil. However, sewage sludge-applied heavy metals, and organic pollutants adversely affect soil biochemical properties. Therefore, an incubation experiment lasting 90 days was carried out to evaluate the effect of the addition of two sources of organic C: sewage sludge or composted turf and plant residues to a calcareous soil at three rates (15, 45, and 90 t of dry matter ha−1) on pH, EC, dissolved organic C, humic substances C, organic matter mineralization, microbial biomass C, and metabolic quotient. The mobile fraction of heavy metals (Zn, Cd, Cu, Ni, and Pb) extracted by NH4NO3 was also investigated.

The addition of sewage sludge decreased soil pH and increased soil salinity to a greater extent than the addition of compost. Both sewage sludge and compost increased significantly the values of the cumulative C mineralized, dissolved organic C, humic and fulvic acid C, microbial biomass C, and metabolic quotient (qCO2), especially with increasing application rate. Compared to compost, the addition of sewage sludge caused higher increases in the values of these parameters. The values of dissolved organic C, fulvic acid C, microbial biomass C, metabolic quotient, and C/N ratio tended to decrease with time. The soil treated with sewage sludge showed a significant increase in the mobile fractions of Zn, Cd, Cu, and Ni and a significant decrease in the mobile fraction of Pb compared to control. The high application rate of compost resulted in the lowest mobility of Cu, Ni, and Pb. The results suggest that biochemical properties of calcareous soil can be enhanced by both organic wastes. But, the high salinity and extractability of heavy metals, due to the addition of sewage sludge, may limit the application of sewage sludge.

biochemical properties calcareous soil compost heavy metals humic substances C sewage sludge 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Soil Science and Land Evaluation (310)University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany

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