The effect of hard coal ashes on the amount and quality of maize yield
The research was conducted in 2003 - 2005 as a pot experiment on mineral soil to which ash doses of between 13.33 g and 800.0 g · pot-1 were supplied in proportions corresponding to the amounts of between 10 and 600 t · ha-1. The investigations aimed at learning the effect of diversified ash doses upon the content, ionic relations and the uptake of Mg, Ca, Na and P by maize. Macroelement concentrations in maize were diversified depending on the object and the plant part, fluctuating from 1.52 - 7.49 g Mg; 3.79 - 11.01 g Ca; 8.07 - 23.86 g K; 0.17 - 1.52 g Na; 1.23 - 3.16 g P · kg-1 d.m. It was found that with the growing ash dose the contents of Mg, Ca, K and Na in maize were increasing systematically, whereas P concentrations were decreasing. Magnesium and potassium content in maize aboveground parts met the requirements for a good quality fodder. The level of calcium, sodium and phosphorus in maize did not remain within the optimal range. A systematic increase in Mg uptake but a decline in P absorption by the aboveground parts were registered in maize in effect of growing ash doses.
The effect of addition of different materials, i.e. sludge, ash and peat, as well as different doses of mixtures of ash and sludge and ash peat, on the total content of heavy metals (Cr, Zn, Pb, Cu, Cd, Ni) and their fractions was studied. Application of municipal sewage sludge, ash-sludge and ash-peat mixtures in the experiment caused a gradual increase in the content of studied heavy metals in soil. The ash was characterized by a low content of heavy metals as compared to municipal sewage sludge. After application of peat and its mixtures with ash a decrease of content of heavy metals was observed, and when the peat was used alone the greatest increase in the organic C content in the substrate could be seen. Distribution of heavy metals in the fractions separated in different combinations shows large variations, depending on the tested metal and the studied variant. Chromium, zinc, lead, and cadmium have been accumulated mainly in the residual fraction (FV), and most of the copper and nickel have been specifically bound with organic matter (FIV). It has been found that the alkaline materials application to the soil decreased the solubility of most heavy metals, which results in a limitation of their uptake by plants. Chromium and copper were an exception, since their solubility increased with the alkalinity of the substrate. An exception was chromium and copper, which solubility increased with the alkalinity of the substrate.
Czesława Jasiewicz, Jacek Antonkiewicz and Agnieszka Baran
Assessment of the use of municipal and industrial wastes in agriculture
Agricultural usability of urban and industrial wastes was investigated in 2004 - 2006 in a pot experiment carried out in the vegetation hall. In the first year of the experiment maize was the test plant, oat grass in the second and oat in the third. The experimental design comprised 11 treatments differing with fertilizer and the kind of the supplied fertilizer components. The experiment used: mineral salts, farmyard manure, compost, municipal sewage sludge and industrial sewage sludge in two fertilizer doses. Metal concentrations in the test plants were diminishing in the following direction: oat grass < maize < oat. The lowest concentrations of the analyzed heavy metals were assessed in the plants fertilized with farmyard manure and compost (Zn, Cu). Among the tested plants the highest quantities of Zn, Cu, Ni, Pb and Cd were removed with the yield of the oat grass, then maize and oat. The highest uptake of Zn, Cu, Ni and Pb by plants was registered on a double dose of industrial sludge and Cd on a single dose of municipal sludge.
Jacek Antonkiewicz, Barbara Kołodziej, Elżbieta Jolanta Bielińska and Anna Popławska
Energy crops, on account of high biomass yields, have high nutrient requirements in relation to macroelements. Municipal sewage sludge can be a potential source of micronutrients for plants with high nutrient requirements. The use of macronutrients from sewage sludge by energy crops is an alternative form of nutrient recycling from organic waste. The aim of the research was to assess the content, uptake and use of N, P, K, Ca, Mg and Na from municipal sewage sludge by reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) and giant miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deu). The effect of sewage sludge on the ratios between macroelements in the biomass of the tested plants was also assessed. The multi-year field experiment involved four levels of fertilization with sewage sludge at doses of 0, 10, 20, 40, 60 Mg DM·ha−1. Due to the low potassium content in this waste, supplementary potassium fertilization (100 kg K·ha−1 in the form of 40% potassium salt (KCl)) was applied once on all plots. It was established that the increasing doses of sewage sludge had a considerable effect on the increase in the content and uptake of N, P, K, Ca, Mg and Na by the biomass of the tested energy crops. The research shows that, compared to giant miscanthus, reed canary grass had a higher macronutrient content. The largest amount of uptaken N, P, K, Ca and Mg was found in reed canary grass (at a dose of 40 Mg DM·ha−1), whereas Na was detected in giant miscanthus (at a dose o 20 Mg DM·ha−1). It was established that giant miscanthus, on account of its higher yielding, recovers macroelements from sewage sludge applied to soil at a dose of 10 Mg DM·ha−1 to the greatest extent. The increasing doses of sewage sludge considerably decreased the value of K:Mg, Ca:Mg, Ca:P ratios in miscanthus biomass yield. The applied doses of sewage sludge (40–60 Mg DM·ha−1) increased the value of K:Ca, Ca:P, K:Na ratios in miscanthus biomass yield.
Jacek Antonkiewicz, Andrzej Kuc, Robert Witkowicz and Monika Tabak
Municipal sewage sludge from rural sewage treatment plants is characterized by a substantial content of organic matter and macronutrients, which can be used in cultivation of cereals. In a farm located in the commune of Iwanowice in the south of Poland (Malopolska province), municipal sewage sludge was applied under spring wheat cultivation. The experiment was set up on heavy soil with slightly acid reaction and medium content of available forms of P, K, Mg. Application of sewage sludge in a dose of 23 Mg fresh matter per hectare (4.21 Mg d.m.) led to no significant changes in chemical properties of the soil. Application of sewage sludge significantly increased yield of spring wheat. That increase led to a significant decrease in the content of N, P, K, Na, Mg and Ca in spring wheat. Utilization of N, Mg, K, P and Ca from sewage sludge by spring wheat was at a level of 82, 63, 44, 36, 9 %, respectively, of the amount introduced with the waste. Application of municipal sewage sludge significantly decreased the value of Ca : P ratio in spring wheat grain and straw. The sewage sludge did not cause a significant change in the values of Ca : Mg, K : Na, K : (Ca+Mg), K : Mg and K : Ca ratios in spring wheat grain and straw. Municipal sewage sludge can be used environmentally, including for fertilization of cereals, provided that environmental standards are kept.
This monograph aims to present how arduously views on plant nutrition shaped over centuries and how the foundation of environmental knowledge concerning these issues was created. This publication also presents current problems and trends in studies concerning plant nutrition, showing their new dimension. This new dimension is determined, on one hand, by the need to feed the world population increasing in geometric progression, and on the other hand by growing environmental problems connected with intensification of agricultural production.
Wojciech Kępka, Jacek Antonkiewicz, Czesława Jasiewicz, Florian Gambuś and Robert Witkowicz
Due to the fact that soils in Poland are mostly light soils, there is a need to improve their physical, chemical and biological properties. In addition, as a result of the decrease in the number of farm animals, a decrease in production of natural fertilizers can be observed. Low production of natural fertilizers speaks in favor of agricultural use of municipal sewage sludge in Poland. Municipal sewage sludge is composed of large quantities of macronutrients necessary for plants. This waste also contains significant amounts of organic substance. Chemical properties, including a high content of nitrogen, phosphorus, and often calcium, speak in favor of environmental use of municipal sewage sludge. Increasing requirements with respect to environmental protection cause the necessity to assess the effects of using organic waste for fertilization. In a farm located in the commune of Iwanowice (Małopolska province), municipal sewage sludge was applied under spring barley cultivation. The soil on which municipal sewage sludge was applied was classified into the category of heavy soils with neutral reaction. When assessing the content of available nutrients (P, K, Mg) in the soil, their low content was determined. After application of municipal sewage sludge in a dose of 24 Mg fresh matter per hectare, which corresponded to 5.34 Mg DM·ha−1, under spring barley, beneficial changes in chemical properties of the soil were observed. An increase in soil abundance in organic carbon and total nitrogen was observed, as well as an increase in the content of available forms of phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Based on the results of the conducted chemical analyses, it was established that biomass of spring barley fertilized with sewage sludge contained more macronutrients (N, P, K, Na, Ca and Mg), which improved its feed value. The field experiment showed that application of municipal sewage sludge increased uptake of macronutrients by spring barley.
Jacek Antonkiewicz, Czesława Jasiewicz, Małgorzata Koncewicz-Baran and Renata Bączek-Kwinta
Irrigation of cultivated plants can be a source of toxic lithium to plants. The data on the effect of lithium uptake on plants are scant, that is why a research was undertaken with the aim to determine maize ability to bioaccumulate lithium. The research was carried out under hydroponic conditions. The experimental design comprised 10 concentrations in solution differing with lithium concentrations in the aqueous solution (ranging from 0.0 to 256.0 mg Li ∙ dm-3 of the nutrient solution). The parameters based on which lithium bioretention by maize was determined were: the yield, lithium concentration in various plant parts, uptake and utilization of this element, tolerance index (TI) and translocation factor (TF), metal concentrations in the above-ground parts index (CI) and bioaccumulation factor (BAF). Depression in yielding of maize occurred only at the highest concentrations of lithium. Lithium concentration was the highest in the roots, lower in the stems and leaves, and the lowest in the inflorescences. The values of tolerance index and EC50 indicated that roots were the most resistant organs to lithium toxicity. The values of translocation factor were indicative of intensive export of lithium from the roots mostly to the stems. The higher uptake of lithium by the above-ground parts than by the roots, which primarily results from the higher yield of these parts of the plants, supports the idea of using maize for lithium phytoremediation.
Renata Gaj, Anna Budka, Jacek Antonkiewicz, Krzysztof Bąk and Paulina Izychard
The objective of the study was to assess the effects of long-term application of liquid manure from pig production and digestate from manure fermentation installation for biogas production on chemical changes in the soil, i.e.: soil reaction, accumulation of available forms of phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium in the soil arable layer, as well as the phosphorus balance. The assessment was carried out in two highly productive farms specialising in pig production, located in the Zachodniopomorskie Province. The soils under the study were treated with slurry and digestate annually for subsequent 12 years. The assessment of changes in nutrient content and accumulation was performed twice: after 10 and 12 years of fertiliser treatments. The rate of changes in soil reaction due to slurry and digestate application varied depending on the analysed field. Irrespective of the analysed field, 12-year application of slurry caused a drop in soil pH by an average of half a unit. The direction of changes in the content of available nutrient forms in the soil varied depending on the element evaluated. Notwithstanding the analysed field and the type of slurry used, a decrease in the content of available forms of potassium in the soil was observed. Slurry fertilisation did not affect magnesium contents in the soil. In the study period, the content of magnesium remained unchanged. Among the evaluated nutrients, an increased nutrient content in the soil was only found in the case of phosphorus – as a result of application of liquid manure in combination with mineral fertilisation. In the analysed farms, in the case of fields fertilised with slurry and digestate, the phosphorus balance was positive, and ranged from 15 to 40 kg P·ha−1. The obtained values of the phosphorous balance strongly suggest that regardless of the type of liquid manure used on the farm, measures should be taken to introduce changes in the scope of fertilisation plans, with particular emphasis on the principles of balanced fertilisation.
Wojciech Kępka, Jacek Antonkiewicz, Florian Gambuś and Robert Witkowicz
Municipal sewage sludge contains considerable amounts of macro and microelements essential for plant nutrition. With decreasing use of natural and organic fertilizers, there is a need to search for alternative sources of organic matter (which is a substrate for humus reproduction). In a field experiment carried out on heavy soil with neutral reaction, the effect of single application of municipal sewage sludge in a dose of 5.34 Mg·ha−1 DM was compared to an equivalent dose of mineral fertilizers. The test plant was spring barley. After application of municipal sewage sludge, slight positive changes in the chemical properties of the soil were observed. The sewage sludge increased the yield of spring barley grain and straw by, respectively, 14 and 13% in relation to treatment with mineral fertilization. Spring barley fertilized with sewage sludge contained more elements than barley grown only on mineral fertilizers. It was shown that application of municipal sewage sludge to the soil had a significant effect on increase in nutrient uptake by spring barley. Fe was taken up in the highest amount, followed by Al and Mn, and Co was taken up in the smallest amounts. Utilization of Fe, Mn, Co and Al from sewage sludge by spring barley was at 6.0, 4.7, 0.7 and 0.7%, respectively of the amount applied to the soil with this waste. The mass ratios (Fe:Mn, Fe:Al, Mn:Co) analyzed in spring barley biomass were much wider in straw than in grain. In terms of grain feed value, Fe:Mn ratio in grain and straw was greater than optimum.