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The Effect of Compost Addition on Chemical and Nitrogen Characteristics, Respiration Activity and Biomass Production in Prepared Reclamation Substrates

Authors: L. Plošek, F. Nsanganwimana, B. Pourrut, J. Elbl, J. Hynšt, A. Kintl, D. Kubná, J. Záhora


Land degradation is of concern in many countries. People more and more must address the problems associated with the degradation of soil properties due to man. Increasingly, organic soil amendments, such as compost are being examined for their potential use in soil restoration and for preventing soil erosion. In the Czech Republic, compost is the most used to improve soil structure and increase the content of soil organic matter. Land reclamation / restoration is one of the ways to evaluate industrially produced compost because Czech farmers are not willing to use compost as organic fertilizer. The most common use of reclamation substrates in the Czech Republic is for the rehabilitation of landfills and contaminated sites.

This paper deals with the influence of reclamation substrates (RS) with different proportions of compost and sand on selected soil properties–chemical characteristics, nitrogen bioavailability, leaching of mineral nitrogen, respiration activity and plant biomass production. Chemical properties vary proportionally with addition of compost and sand to the control variant (topsoil). The highest differences between the variants were recorded in leaching of mineral nitrogen (varies from 1.36mg dm-3 in C to 9.09mg dm-3). Addition of compost to soil improves conditions for plant growth in comparison with soil alone. However, too high addition of compost may have adverse effects on plant growth. In addition, high proportion of compost increases leaching of mineral N. Therefore, mixture of 70% of soil with 10% of compost and 20% of sand may be recommended as optimal composition of RS.

Keywords: Biomass, Compost, Reclamation, Respiration.

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