Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Over-use Of Organic Fertilizers In Agriculture Could Poison Soils, Study Finds

Date:
October 31, 2008
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
Excessive doses of organic residues in agricultural fields could be dangerous for plants, invertebrates and micro-organisms living in the soil. This is the finding of a new study that shows that the use of appropriate levels of fertilizers would prevent this toxic impact on the soil biota.

Excessive doses of organic residues in agricultural fields could be dangerous for plants, invertebrates and micro-organisms living in the soil. This is the finding of a study carried out by the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), which has shown that the use of appropriate levels of fertilisers would prevent this toxic impact on the soil biota.

Although controlled amounts of organic residues, sewage sludge and animal waste are a good choice for soil fertilisation, they can have damaging effects on soil biota when applied in excessive doses. In an effort to prevent these toxic impacts on soil, a team of researchers from the UAB’s Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF) has carried out a test that sets the maximum safe doses for organic fertilisers.

“We based this on bio-trials in the laboratory using soil-based organisms that are representative of agro-ecosystems, and which need to be protected: plants (Brassica rapa, Lolium perenne and Trifolium pratense), earthworms, annelids, collembola and micro-organisms,” the study’s lead author Xavier Domene told SINC.

The research, which has been published in the magazine Environmental Pollution, shows that the low levels of stability in the residues used is one of the main reasons for their damaging effects on plants and animals. “The rapid decomposition of the residue in the ground generates substances such as ammonia, which is the main cause of the toxic effects observed,” said Domene.

Finding a safe dose

The research group established a “safe dose” for each of the seven residues analysed (two kinds of dehydrated sewage sludge, two kinds of composted mud, two kinds of heat-dried mud, and one sample of heat-dried pig waste).

The researchers believe that using these residues in agricultural fields at levels below this cut-off limit would protect 95% of the species potentially present within an agro-ecosystem. The study goes on to explain that by comparing the safe dose with the amounts usually used it is possible to assess the potential impact on soil biota.

The European Union currently produces a great range of organic residues, using a variety of treatment technologies that minimise their volume and make them easier to handle. According to the researchers, “eco-toxicological criteria should also be included in legislation in order to prevent the environmental impact caused by the use of organic residues”.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Domene et al. Ecological risk assessment of organic waste amendments using the species sensitivity distribution from a soil organisms test battery. Environmental Pollution, 2008; 155 (2): 227 DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2007.12.001

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Over-use Of Organic Fertilizers In Agriculture Could Poison Soils, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081030194236.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2008, October 31). Over-use Of Organic Fertilizers In Agriculture Could Poison Soils, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081030194236.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Over-use Of Organic Fertilizers In Agriculture Could Poison Soils, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081030194236.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins