Study

Effect of organic and mineral fertilizers on soil respiration and enzyme activities of two Mediterranean horticultural soils

  • Published source details Iovieno P., Morra L., Leone A., Pagano L. & Alfani A. (2009) Effect of organic and mineral fertilizers on soil respiration and enzyme activities of two Mediterranean horticultural soils. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 45, 555-561

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Soil: Use organic fertilizer instead of inorganic

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Soil: Add compost to the soil

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland
  1. Soil: Use organic fertilizer instead of inorganic

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2003–2005 in farmland in the Sele river plain, Italy, found more organic matter and more carbon dioxide in organically fertilized soils, compared to inorganically fertilized soils. Organic matter: More organic matter was found in organically fertilized soils, compared to inorganically fertilized soils, in five of 18 comparisons (greenhouse, 45 t compost/ha: 30 vs 26 mg organic C/kg dry soil; open field, 30–45 t compost/ha: 10–12 vs 8). Greenhouse gases: More carbon dioxide was found in organically fertilized soils, compared to inorganically fertilized soils, in a greenhouse (0.9–1.2 vs 0.7 μg CO2/g dry soil/hour), but there were no significant differences in an open field (0.8–1.4 vs 0.9). Methods: At each of two sites (unheated tunnel greenhouse with 24 m2 plots, or open field with 70 m2 plots), there were three replicates for each of four treatments (15, 30, or 45 t compost/ha, in March–April each year, or NPK fertilizer with 260–325 kg N/ha, 160–320 kg P2O5/ha, 140–310 kg K2O/ha). The compost was made from municipal food waste and yard trimmings. Crops were grown in rotation (greenhouse: tomatoes, beans, lettuce; open field: tomatoes or eggplants, endive and/or broccoli sprouts). Soil samples (five/plot, 0–20 cm depth) were collected three times/year before the crops were harvested (greenhouse: spring, autumn, winter; open field: summer, autumn, winter). Organic carbon was measured in winter samples (residual carbon). Carbon dioxide (soil respiration) was measured in all samples.

     

  2. Soil: Add compost to the soil

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2003–2005 in farmland in the Sele river plain, Italy, found more organic matter and more carbon dioxide in soils with added compost, compared to soils without added compost. Organic matter: More organic carbon was found in soils with added compost, compared to soils without added compost, in eight of 18 comparisons (greenhouse: 28–32 vs 23–25 mg organic C/kg soil [dry weight]; open field: 10–12 vs 8). Greenhouse gases: More carbon dioxide was found in soils with added compost, in five of six comparisons (greenhouse: 0.9–1.2 vs 0.7 μg CO2/g soil [dry weight]/hour; open field: 1.2–1.4 vs 0.6). Methods: The compost was made from municipal food waste and yard trimmings. At each of two sites (unheated tunnel greenhouse with 24 m2 plots, or open field with 70 m2 plots), there were three replicates for each of three treatments (15, 30, or 45 t compost/ha, in March–April each year) and one control (no compost). Crops were grown in rotation (greenhouse: tomatoes, beans, lettuce; open field: tomatoes or eggplants, endive and/or broccoli sprouts). Soil samples (five/plot, 0–20 cm depth) were collected three times/year before the crops were harvested (greenhouse: spring, autumn, winter; open field: summer, autumn, winter). Organic carbon was measured in winter samples (residual carbon). Carbon dioxide (soil respiration) was measured in all samples.

     

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