Effects of compost, pig slurry and lime on trace element solubility and toxicity in two soils differently affected by mining activities.Chemosphere. 2011 Jul; 84(5):642-50.C
The use of organic wastes as amendments in heavy metal-polluted soils is an ecological integrated option for their recycling. The potential use of alperujo (solid olive-mill waste) compost and pig slurry in phytoremediation strategies has been studied, evaluating their short-term effects on soil health. An aerobic incubation experiment was carried out using an acid mine spoil based soil and a low OM soil from the mining area of La Unión (Murcia, Spain). Arsenic and heavy metal solubility in amended and non-amended soils, and microbial parameters were evaluated and related to a phytotoxicity test. The organic amendments provoked an enlargement of the microbial community (compost increased biomass-C from non detected values to 35 μg g(-1) in the mine spoil soil, and doubled control values in the low OM soil) and an intensification of its activity (including a twofold increase in nitrification), and significantly enhanced seed germination (increased cress germination by 25% in the mine spoil soil). Organic amendments increased Zn and Pb EDTA-extractable concentrations, and raised As solubility due to the influence of factors such as pH changes, phosphate concentration, and the nature of the organic matter of the amendments. Compost, thanks to the greater persistence of its organic matter in soil, could be recommended for its use in (phyto)stabilisation strategies. However, pig slurry boosted inorganic N content and did not significantly enhance As extractability in soil, so its use could be specifically recommended in As polluted soils.