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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Quality of Carbon Sources Used in Soil Farming: Decomposition and Nitrogen and Phosphorus Dynamics on An Adjusted C:n Ratio Gradient

item Adler, Paul

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 9, 2000
Publication Date: November 5, 2000
Citation: Adler, P.R. 2000. Quality of carbon sources used in soil farming: decomposition and nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics on an adjusted c:n ratio gradient. 2000 ASA, CSSA, SSSA Annual Meetings, November 5-9, 2000, Minneapolis, MN.

Technical Abstract: When animal manure is viewed as a waste, storage in lagoons is a common management and treatment alternative. Anaerobic storage of manure in lagoons, however, degrades its value by increasing offensive odors and air pollutants and reducing organic matter and nutrient content. As a resource, value-added processes are used to maximize its value, thereby opening up more market options. Carbon quality and C:N ratio affect decomposition of litter in the soil ecosystem and were evaluated in this study for their effect on stabilization rainbow trout solids during soil farming. Rainbow trout solids (~10% dw) were mixed with a range of carbon sources from switchgrass and barley straw to hybrid poplar, willow, pine, and oak over a C:N ratio gradient. Course mesh bags filled with the mixture were placed on the soil surface and changes in mass and nutrient content were measured over time. Mass loss from the mesh bags was used as a measure of the bioprocessing rate by the soil ecosystem. Carbon source had a greater effect on mass loss than C:N ratio in this study. Mass loss and N and P sequestration varied with carbon source. Sequestration increased with C:N ratio, but P sequestration was N limited. Carbon source is a critical design parameter in optimizing ecological systems for resource recovery.

Last Modified: 4/20/2015
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