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Codling E.E.,Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Laboratory
Soil Science | Year: 2014

Biosolids have long been applied to agricultural land as fertilizer, and concerns exist regarding the long-term environmental impact of residual P and metals in biosolid-amended fields. Objectives of this study were to determine (i) P solubility in three soils from Maryland, Minnesota, and Illinois with histories of biosolid application and (ii) uptake of P, Cu, Mn, and Zn by wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown on these amended soils. In a pot study, wheat was grown on three soils that had received applications of biosolids 16 to 24 years before soil collection. Mehlich-3-extractable P increased by as much as 246%, 350%, and 274% for the amended Maryland, Minnesota, and Illinois soils, respectively, compared with control values. Mehlich-3-extractable Cu and Zn concentrations also increased with biosolid application for the three soils, whereas Mn decreased or did not change. Wheat biomass yield was reduced by 78% for the Maryland soil amended with lime-composted biosolids, accompanied by a decline of wheat tissue Mn concentration of 86%. Tissue P concentration increased by as much as 237%, 141%, and 304% for the amended Maryland, Minnesota, and Illinois soils, respectively. This study demonstrated that, regardless of soil or biosolid source, soils that had received biosolids 16 to 24 years earlier retained elevated levels of phytoavailable P and Zn, resulting in elevated levels of those elements in wheat. Although biosolids are beneficial for crop production, the risk of long-term negative effects of excess P and metal on the environment should be considered before application. Copyright © 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Lydon J.,Office of National Programs | Koskinen W.C.,Soil and Water Management Research Unit | Moorman T.B.,2110 University Boulevard | Chaney R.L.,Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Laboratory | Hammerschmidt R.,Michigan State University
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2012

Claims have been made recently that glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops sometimes have mineral deficiencies and increased plant disease. This review evaluates the literature that is germane to these claims. Our conclusions are: (1) although there is conflicting literature on the effects of glyphosate on mineral nutrition on GR crops, most of the literature indicates that mineral nutrition in GR crops is not affected by either the GR trait or by application of glyphosate; (2) most of the available data support the view that neither the GR transgenes nor glyphosate use in GR crops increases crop disease; and (3) yield data on GR crops do not support the hypotheses that there are substantive mineral nutrition or disease problems that are specific to GR crops. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Reeves III J.B.,Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Laboratory
Applied Spectroscopy | Year: 2012

Biochar is the solid residue produced by the pyrolysis of any bio-organic material under low, or no, oxygen conditions and has generated considerable interest as a means to sequester carbon in, and improve the quality of, soils. However, the exact properties of biochar depend on its composition, which in turn depends on the composition of the starting material and the temperature and conditions under which the biochar is produced. Mid-infrared spectroscopy offers an excellent and rapid method for characterizing both the starting materials and the resulting biochar. Results using diffuse reflection infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) have shown that spectral changes can be easily correlated with the production temperature and that DRIFTS offers a rapid method for biochar characterization. It was demonstrated that as the temperature increases biochars become increasingly more aromatic and carbonaceous in nature. We also showed that biochars are spectrally very similar to kerogens and coals; therefore, the methods and knowledge developed from decades of studies on these materials should greatly improve our understanding of biochar composition and effects in soil. This work indicates that rapid characterization using DRIFTS can be used to predict the nature of biochar and to determine the production conditions needed to produce a so-called ''Designer Biochar'' which will have properties of benefit to soil quality as well as sequestering carbon. © 2012 Society for Applied Spectroscopy.

Cabello-Conejo M.I.,CSIC - National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences | Centofanti T.,University of Maryland University College | Centofanti T.,Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Laboratory | Kidd P.S.,CSIC - National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Phytoremediation | Year: 2013

Recent studies have shown that application of phytohormones to shoots of Alyssum murale increased biomass production but did not increase Ni shoot concentration. Increased biomass and Ni phytoextraction efficiency is useful to achieve economically viable phytomining. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of two types of phytohormones on the Ni phytoextraction capacity of four Alyssum species. Two different commercially available phytohormones (Cytokin® and Promalin®) based on cytokinins and/or gibberellins were applied on shoot biomass of four Ni hyperaccumulating Alyssum species (A. corsicum, A.malacitanum, A. murale, and A. pintodasilvae). Cytokin was applied in two concentrations and promalin in one concentration. The application of phytohormones had no clear positive effect on biomass production, Ni accumulation and Ni phytoextraction efficiency in the studied Alyssum species. A. malacitanum was the only species in which a significantly negative effect of these treatments was observed (in Ni uptake). A slightly positive response to promalin treatment was observed in the biomass production and Ni phytoextraction efficiency of A. corsicum. Although this effect was not significant it does indicate a potential application of these approaches to improve phytoextraction ability. Further studies will be needed to identify the most adequate phytohormone treatment as well as the appropriate concentrations and application times. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Lozano N.,University of Maryland University College | Lozano N.,Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Laboratory | Rice C.P.,Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Laboratory | Ramirez M.,DC Water and Sewer Authority | Torrents A.,University of Maryland University College
Chemosphere | Year: 2010

Triclosan (5-chloro-2-[2,4-dichloro-phenoxy]-phenol (TCS) is an antimicrobial compound that is added to a wide variety of household and personal care products. The consumer use of these products releases TCS into urban wastewater and this compound ends up in the environment when agricultural land is fertilized with wastewater biosolids. This study examines the occurrence of TCS in biosolids and its fate in biosolid-treated soils. TCS levels in biosolids generated from one repeatedly-sampled wastewater treatment plant averaged 15.6 ± 0.6 mg kg-1 dry wt. (mean ± standard error) with a slight increase from 2005 to 2007. Surface soil samples were collected from several farms in northern Virginia, US that had received no biosolids, one biosolid application or multiple biosolid applications since 1992. Farm soils that received one application presented TCS concentrations between 4.1 and 4.5 ng g-1 dry wt. when time since application was over 16 months and between 23.6 and 66.6 ng g-1 dry wt. for farms where sampling time after application was less than a year. Our results suggest that TCS content of biosolids are rapidly dissipated (estimated half-life of 107.4 d) when applied to agricultural fields. Statistical differences were found (p < 0.05) for residual build-up of TCS between multiple-application farms (at least 480 d after application) and controls suggesting that there was a slight build-up of TCS, although the concentrations for these farms were low (<10 ng g-1 dry wt.). © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

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