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Effects of municipal sewage sludge application on soil and purple moor-grass (Molinia caerulea) contamination by metals in a maritime pine forest

Abstract : The effects of municipal sewage sludge applied on topsoil and understory vegetation (Molinia caerulea (L.) Moench) were studied in a maritime pine forest located in the South West of France (Landes of Gascogne). Understory response to sludge application is important as sludge addition to forest could increase competition with pine and affect herbivorous wildlife through incorporation of heavy metals in the food chain. The experiment was conducted in a young stand of maritime pines. The experimental design consisted of three 0.1-ha plots. One plot received composted sludge, one plot received liquid sludge, and one control plot received no sludge. Liquid sludge and composted sludge were applied on the basis of 3 tons dry matter sludge per hectare and per year. After 2 years of sludge application, we observed the following: (1) a significant increase in total concentrations of the following major and trace elements in the topsoil (layer 0–20 cm) [organic carbon (+140%), nitrogen (+140%), and lead (+80%)] and (2) no significant accumulation of trace elements in M. caerulea except nickel, which increased moderately (+40%) following application of composted sludge. These initial results need to be completed (1) by the assessment of long-term effects and dynamics of trace elements with additional applications of sludge and (2) by analyzing secondary understory species to determine if understory response to sludge application is more dependant on species than on soil parameters and sludge type.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02652721
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Submitted on : Friday, May 29, 2020 - 8:04:31 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 8:46:02 AM

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Laurence Denaix, Anne-Laure Thomas-Chéry, Julie Balet, Mohammed Benbrahim, Jean-Michel Carnus. Effects of municipal sewage sludge application on soil and purple moor-grass (Molinia caerulea) contamination by metals in a maritime pine forest. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, Springer Verlag, 2011, 219 (1-4), pp.239-249. ⟨10.1007/s11270-010-0702-8⟩. ⟨hal-02652721⟩

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