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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 7 No. 3, p. 413-416
    Received: Dec 1, 1977

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Growth and Trace Metal Content of European Sycamore Seedlings Grown in Soil Amended with Sewage Sludge1

  1. N. W. Lepp and
  2. G. T. Eardley2



Seedlings of European sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) were grown under greenhouse conditions for 50 days in mixtures (by vol) of 100:0, 25:75, 50:50, 25:75, 0:100 commercial soil-based potting medium/metal contaminated sewage sludge. At harvest, measurements of stem height, leaf number, node number, total leaf area, stem girth, and plant dry weight were made, prior to the analysis of total plant metal burdens. The results showed that increasing proportions of metal-rich sewage had no detrimental effect on plant growth; indeed, in most cases, the seedlings from the high sludge treatment (75%) performed significantly better than those grown in 100% sludge or unamended potting medium. Total plant metal burdens were not excessive; the highest accumulations were found in the roots. The relevance of these results to proposals for using metal-contaminated sewage sludges in land reclamation schemes, or as nonagricultural soil amendments, is discussed.

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