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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Organic Compounds in the Environment

17-β Estradiol and Testosterone Mineralization and Incorporation into Organic Matter in Broiler Litter-Amended Soils


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 6, p. 1923-1930
    Received: Jan 30, 2012
    Published: November 5, 2012

    * Corresponding author(s): mbdurant@gmail.com
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  1. Michelle B. Durant *,
  2. Peter G. Hartel,
  3. Miguel L. Cabrera and
  4. William K. Vencill
  1. Dep. of Crop and Soil Sciences, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. Assigned to Associate Editor Lakhwinder Hundal


The presence of the hormones estradiol and testosterone in the environment is of concern because they adversely affect vertebrate sexual characteristics. Land spreading broiler litter introduces these hormones into the environment. We conducted two studies. The first study determined the mineralization of 14C-labeled estradiol and testosterone at three water potentials and three temperatures in four broiler litter-amended soils. With a few exceptions, the mineralization of each hormone either stayed the same or increased with increasing water content (both hormones) and increasing (estradiol) or decreasing (testosterone) temperature. Mineralization was dependent on soil type. The second study determined the incorporation of 14C-labeled estradiol and testosterone into (i) three soil organic matter (SOM) fractions (fulvic acid, humic acid, and humin) at two water potentials, two temperatures, and one sampling time, and (ii) at one water potential, one temperature, and seven sampling times. As time increased, higher temperature and water potential decreased percentages of 14C estradiol and testosterone in water- and acetone-soluble fractions and increased percentages in SOM fractions. However, the distribution of the two hormones in SOM fractions differed. For estradiol, higher temperature and water potential increased the percentage in all three SOM fractions. For testosterone, higher temperature and water potential increased the percentage of hormone in fulvic acid and humin. Although the mineralization studies suggest the potential for these hormones to still have environmental effects, the incorporation of the two hormones into SOM suggest that land spreading these hormones may actually be less of an environmental concern.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.