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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #305251

Title: Compost improves compacted urban soil

item Logsdon, Sally
item SAUER, PAT - Iowa Association Of Municipal Utilities

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/5/2014
Publication Date: 11/5/2014
Citation: Logsdon, S.D., Sauer, P. 2014. Compost improves compacted urban soil [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Abstract 85593 or 177-7.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Urban construction sites usually result in compacted soils that limit infiltration and root growth. The purpose of this study was to determine if compost, aeration, and/or prairie grasses can remediate a site setup as a simulated post-construction site (compacted). Five years after establishing the control (5 cm topsoil + bluegrass mixture) and treated areas (5 cm topsoil + 10 cm compost + prairie grasses), a rainfall simulation study was conducted. The areas with prairie grass had greater infiltration rates (2.5"/hr) compared with the control (2.1"/hr), and less sediment loss (22 vs 106 lb/Ac-h). Ortho phosphate loss was less for the prairie grass (0.05 lb/Ac) than for the bluegrass area (0.36 lb/Ac). Sampling to 2 m depth revealed prior disturbance to > 1 m for the whole area. Compost is recommended for post construction sites. Over time, prairie grasses were also beneficial. Soils in urban areas can have several disturbance events.