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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 3, p. 701-706
    Received: Aug 5, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): pghartel@uga.edu
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Mineralization of Hormones in Breeder and Broiler Litters at Different Water Potentials and Temperatures

  1. Sarah N. J. Hemmingsa and
  2. Peter G. Hartel *b
  1. a Institute of Ecology
    b Department of Crop & Soil Sciences, 3111 Plant Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7272


When poultry litter is landspread, steroidal hormones present in the litter may reach surface waters, where they may have undesirable biological effects. In a laboratory study, we determined the mineralization of [4–14C]-labeled 17β-estradiol, estrone, and testosterone in breeder litter at three different water potentials (−56, −24, and −12 MPa) and temperatures (25, 35, and 45°C), and in broiler litter at two different water potentials (−24 and −12 MPa) and temperatures (25 and 35°C). Mineralization was similar in both litters and generally increased with increasing water content and decreasing temperature. After 23 wk at −24 MPa, an average of 27, 11, and <2% of the radiolabeled testosterone applied to breeder litter was mineralized to 14CO2 at 25, 35, and 45°C, respectively. In contrast, mineralization of the radiolabeled estradiol and estrone was <2% after 25 wk at all water potentials, except after 17 wk at 25°C and −12 MPa, where up to 5.9% of the estradiol and 7.8% of the estrone was mineralized. The minimal mineralization suggests that the litters may still be potential sources of hormones to surface and subsurface waters.

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Copyright © 2006. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA