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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Ecosystem Restoration

Application of Two Organic Amendments on Soil Restoration: Effects on the Soil Biological Properties


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 4, p. 1010-1017
    Received: Dec 16, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): mtmoral@us.es
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  1. M. Tejada *a,
  2. M. T. Hernandezb and
  3. C. Garciab
  1. a Departamento de Cristalografía, Mineralogía y Química Agrícola, E.U.I.T.A. Universidad de Sevilla, Crta de Utrera km. 1, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
    b Departamento de Conservación de Suelos y Agua y Manejo de Residuos Orgánicos, Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura, CEBAS-CSIC, P.O. Box 4195, 30080 Murcia, Spain


One method for recovering degraded soils in semiarid regions is to add organic matter to improve soil characteristics, thereby enhancing biogeochemical nutrient cycling. In this paper, we studied the changes in soil biological properties as a result of adding a crushed cotton gin compost (CCGC) and a poultry manure (PM) for 4 yr to restore a Xerollic Calciorthid located near Seville (Guadalquivir Valley, Andalusia, Spain). Organic wastes were applied at rates of 5, 7.5, and 10 Mg organic matter ha−1 One year after the assay began, spontaneous vegetation had appeared in the treated plots, particularly in that receiving a high PM and CCGC dose. After 4 yr, the plant cover in these treated plots was around 88 and 79%, respectively, compared with 5% for the control. The effects on soil microbial biomass and six soil enzymatic activities (dehydrogenase, urease, BBA-protease, β-glucosidase, arylsulfatase, and alkaline phosphatase activities) were ascertained. Both added organic wastes had a positive effect on the biological properties of the soil, although at the end of the experimental period and at high dosage, soil microbial biomass and soil enzyme activities were generally higher in the PM-amended soils compared to the CCGC-amended soils. Enzyme activity from the PM-amended soil was 5, 15, 13, 19, 22, 30, and 6% greater than CCGC-amended soil for soil microbial biomass, urease, BBA-protease, β-glucosidase, alkaline phosphatase, arylsulfatase, and dehydrogenase activities, respectively. After 4 yr, the percentage of plant cover was >48% in all treated plots and 5% in the control.

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