Skip to main content

Infrequent Composted Biosolids Applications Affect Semi-arid Grassland Soils and Vegetation

Ippolito, J.A. and Barbarick, K.A. and Paschke, M.W. and Brobst, R.B. (2010) Infrequent Composted Biosolids Applications Affect Semi-arid Grassland Soils and Vegetation. Journal of Environmental Management. 91:1123-1130. Elsevier.

[img] PDF

Download (482kB)


Monitoring of repeated composted biosolids applications is necessary for improving beneficial reuse
program management strategies, because materials will likely be reapplied to the same site at a future
point in time. A field trial evaluated a single and a repeated composted biosolids application in terms of
long-term (13–14 years) and short-term (2–3 years) effects, respectively, on soil chemistry and plant
community in a Colorado semi-arid grassland. Six composted biosolids rates (0, 2.5, 5, 10, 21, 30 Mg ha�1)
were surface applied in a split-plot design study with treatment (increasing compost rates) as the main
factor and co-application time (1991, or 1991 and 2002) as the split factor applications. Short- and longterm
treatment effects were evident in 2004 and 2005 for soil 0–8 cm depth pH, EC, NO3-N, NH4-N, total
N, and AB-DTPA soil Cd, Cu, Mo, Zn, P, and Ba. Soil organic matter increases were still evident 13 and 14
years following composted biosolids application. The repeated composted biosolids application
increased soil NO3-N and NH4-N and decreased AB-DTPA extractable Ba as compared to the single
composted biosolids application in 2004; differences between short- and long-term applications were
less evident in 2005. Increasing biosolids rates resulted in increased native perennial grass cover in 2005.
Plant tissue Cu, Mo, Zn, and P concentrations increased, while Ba content decreased depending on
specific plant species and year. Overall, the lack of many significant negative effects suggests that shortor
long-term composted biosolids application at the rates studied did not adversely affect this semi-arid
grassland ecosystem.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1334
Subjects: Soil
Soil > Chemistry > Nitrogen
Soil > Chemistry > Phosphorous
Depositing User: Users 6 not found.
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2010 21:16
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 14:44
Item ID: 1356