This study was conducted to investigate whether overlaying organic wastes directly on limestone debris allowed the growth of sclerophyllous shrubs; the aim was to explore the feasibility of rehabilitation of sites destroyed by quarrying activity. In an open air mesocosm experiment two types of organic material were compared: compost from municipal wastes ( C ) and a mixture of compost and poultry manure added with wheat husk (C-PW). Mesocosms were pots (1 m diameter, 60 cm height) containing limestone debris covered by the organic material. Seven mesocosms with C and seven mesocosms with C-PW were planted with sclerophyllous shrubs (Laurus nobilis L., Phillyrea angustifolia L. and Quercus ilex L.). The two types of substrate were characterised in terms of chemical and physical parameters, microbial activity and biomass, and total and active fungal biomass. Shrubs photosynthetic performance and growth were evaluated. Over the whole experimental period, organic matter mineralization was higher in C-PW. Microbial biomass and poultry manure respiration were higher in C-PW than in C but after one year no statistically significant difference between the two substrates occurred. Fungal mycelium was a minor fraction of the microbial community in both types of substrates and decreased dramatically after setting up the mesocosms. The metabolic quotient was higher in C suggesting more stressful conditions as compared to C-PW. Both substrates allowed shrubs growth; however photosynthetic rates and the increase of plant size were higher on C-WP than on C. The results suggest that, as compared to only compost, the mixture of compost and poultry manure added with wheat husk is a substrate more suitable to both microbial processes and plant growth.

Suitability of two types of organic wastes for the growth of sclerophyllous shrubs on limestone debris: a mesocosm trial

MAISTO, GIULIA;DE MARCO, ANNA;ARENA, CARMEN;
2010

Abstract

This study was conducted to investigate whether overlaying organic wastes directly on limestone debris allowed the growth of sclerophyllous shrubs; the aim was to explore the feasibility of rehabilitation of sites destroyed by quarrying activity. In an open air mesocosm experiment two types of organic material were compared: compost from municipal wastes ( C ) and a mixture of compost and poultry manure added with wheat husk (C-PW). Mesocosms were pots (1 m diameter, 60 cm height) containing limestone debris covered by the organic material. Seven mesocosms with C and seven mesocosms with C-PW were planted with sclerophyllous shrubs (Laurus nobilis L., Phillyrea angustifolia L. and Quercus ilex L.). The two types of substrate were characterised in terms of chemical and physical parameters, microbial activity and biomass, and total and active fungal biomass. Shrubs photosynthetic performance and growth were evaluated. Over the whole experimental period, organic matter mineralization was higher in C-PW. Microbial biomass and poultry manure respiration were higher in C-PW than in C but after one year no statistically significant difference between the two substrates occurred. Fungal mycelium was a minor fraction of the microbial community in both types of substrates and decreased dramatically after setting up the mesocosms. The metabolic quotient was higher in C suggesting more stressful conditions as compared to C-PW. Both substrates allowed shrubs growth; however photosynthetic rates and the increase of plant size were higher on C-WP than on C. The results suggest that, as compared to only compost, the mixture of compost and poultry manure added with wheat husk is a substrate more suitable to both microbial processes and plant growth.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/364434
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