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Effect of vermicomposting on the transformation of some trace elements in fly ash

, : Effect of vermicomposting on the transformation of some trace elements in fly ash. Nutrient cycling in agroecosystems 75(1-3): 223-231

One major constraint of the agricultural uses of fly ash (FA) is the low availability of different plant nutrients despite their high occurrence in the total amount. However, degrading FA through increased microbial activity can improve the availability of these nutrients substantially. It has been found that intestines of epigeic earthworms contain a high concentration of different microorganisms. Therefore, in the present study we addressed the effects of vermicomposting technology on the solubility of some micronutrient cations (Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn) and some heavy metals (Pb, Cd, and Cr) in different combinations of fly ash and organic matter, applied in the form of cow dung (CD). Various combinations of FA and CD were treated with and without an epigeic earthworm (Eisenia fetida) and the solubility of different trace elements in the treatments were estimated periodically. The results revealed that the inclusion of epigeic earthworm Eisenia fetida in different combinations of fly ash and cow dung converted a considerable amount of the micronutrients into bio-available forms. On the other hand, the solubility of heavy metals tended to be reduced by the microorganisms, presumably by formation of some organo-metallic complex. Application of these vermicomposted FA and CD combinations to a red lateritic soil was found to improve the soluble Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn status of the soil. Furthermore, the use of vermicomposted FA and CD (1:1) in potato cultivation demonstrated that use of this mixture at 10 ton per hectare (t ha-p#; fresh weight) was able to compensate 80% of the recommended NPK fertiliser, along with farm yard manure application, without compromising the crop yield.


DOI: 10.1007/s10705-006-9029-7

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