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Effects of Sewage Sludge Application on Yield, Yield Parameters and Heavy Metal Content of Barley Grown under Arid Climatic Conditions.

Byline: ILKER ANGIN AND A. VAHAP YAGANOGLU

ABSTRACT

Environmental pollution can be minimized with reducing the amount of wastes emerged, harmonizing the wastes with environment and land use of waste materials. Sewage sludge, a by-product of wastewater treatment, can be used as a replacement and/or amendment for natural materials. However, it should be noted that sewage sludge contains heavy metals and soluble salts, which could be toxic to the soil and plants. This study was carried out to determine the effects of different sewage sludge application rates, which were 0, 4, 8 and 12 t da-1, on yield, yield parameters, and heavy metal uptake of barley grown under arid climatic conditions. The experiment was conducted using a randomized complete block design with three replications in 12 plots, between years 2005-2007. Results obtained from this study have shown that sewage sludge is an effective way to improve yield, yield parameters and metal content of barley under arid climatic conditions.

The most effective application rate was found as 12 t da-1 in this study. However, it should be noted that this situation depends on ecological conditions and species. Further studies should be conducted to evaluate the effects of sewage sludge on other plant species. (c)2012 Friends Science Publishers

Key Words: Sewage sludge; Barley; Yield; Yield parameters; Heavy metal content

INTRODUCTION

Environmental pollution can be defined as the contamination of the ecosystem to such an extent that normal environmental processes are adversely affected. Environmental pollution due to release of air, water and soil pollutants is a problem both in developed and developing countries. Protection of environment requires reducing the amount of wastes emerged, harmonizing the wastes with environment (environment safe) and land use of waste materials. Use of wastes has been increasingly identified as an important issue for soil fertility, conservation and residual disposal in agriculture, forestry and land reclamation (Antolin et al., 2005). Using wastes in agriculture helps not only to dispose these materials economically, but also reduces negative effects on the environment. Therefore, protection of environment with proper waste management is of great concern both for nations and human being.

Sewage sludge is a concentrated suspension of solids, largely composed of organic matter and nutrient-laden organic solids. Sewage sludge contains not only major plant nutrients, but also trace elements that are essential for plant growth (Anonymous, 1996). Due to the presence of basic organic and mineral elements in its content, sewage sludge can be used as a replacement and/or amendment for natural materials. However, it should be noted that sewage sludge also contains heavy metals and soluble salts, which could be toxic to the soil and plants (McGrath et al., 2000; Vaca- Paulin et al., 2006). One of the major pathways by which land applied sewage sludge contaminants enters the food chain is plant uptake (Laturnus et al., 2007).

Several countries have regulated use of sewage sludge in agriculture, which are mainly based on heavy metal content of soil, regarding soil type and metal uptake by plants. Therefore, studies should be conducted to determine the possible effects of sewage sludge application on plant yield and their uptake by plants on different ecological conditions. Many studies have been conducted to determine the effects of sewage sludge application on crop and plant yield and soil properties (Navas et al., 1998; Aggelides and Londra, 2000; Holz et al., 2000; Tsadilas et al., 2005; Cheng et al., 2007). However, a study on yield, yield parameters and heavy metal uptake of barley with sewage sludge application has not been studied under arid climatic conditions, especially in Turkey. Therefore, this study was carried out to determine the effects of different sewage sludge application rates, which were 0, 4, 8, and 12 t da-1, on yield, yield parameters, and heavy metal uptake of barley grown under arid climatic conditions

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This study was conducted for three years (2005-2007) in the Igdir plain, Turkey. The experimental region has an arid climate with long-term mean annual minimum and maximum temperatures of 5.8 and 19.2oC, relative humidity of 55% and total precipitation of 259.1 mm.

The experiment was conducted using a randomized complete block design with three replications in 12 plots, each measuring 9 m2 (3 x 3 m), with a separation strip of 1 m between them. Experimental site had a slight slope angle ( less than 2%) so no run off was observed during the study. Anaerobically digested sewage sludge, obtained from the wastewater treatment plant of the Municipality of Ankara,was added to the plough layer (0-25 cm) of the experimental site in July 2004 at rates of 0 (Control), 4, 8, and 12 t da-1 dry weight and no sewage sludge application was made after this date.Characteristics of sewage sludge are given in Table I.

Soil properties prior to the application of sewage sludge are given in Table II. Barley (Hordeum vulgare) (Tokak-157/37) was sown to the plots in April of 2005, 2006 and 2007 (450 seed per m2, Akten and Akkaya, 1986). Fourteen rows were seeded with sowing machine.

Barley was irrigated three times; at the beginning of sowing time, stem elongation and heading stage. Harvesting was performed excluding side rows. At maturity the aerial parts of barley in each plot were harvested by hand and were dried for 5 days to estimate plant height, spike length, seed number/spike,spikes per m2, thousand grains weight, grain and biological yield.

The nutrient and metal contents of barley were determined using HNO3-HClO4 acid mixture digestion (AOAC, 1990). K, Ca, Mg, Na, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Elmer Optima 2100 DV Optical Emission Spectrometer,Waltham, MA, USA). The Kjeldahl method and a Vapodest 10 Rapid Distillation Unit (Gerhardt, Konigswinter, Germany) were used to determine N.

The data were analyzed with sewage sludge (t da-1) as main plot treatment and years (2005, 2006 and 2007) as subplot treatments (SPSS Science, Chicago, IL). In the analysis of variance (GLM), the subplot treatments were analyzed as repeated measures in years. Mean differences were considered significant when P [?] 0.05 (Duncan's Multiple Range Test).

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Effects of sewage sludge application on yield and yield parameters: Application of sewage sludge resulted in greater plant heights as compared with un-amended plots. In all application rates, sewage sludge increased plant heights (Table III). Variations among the years were obtained during the experimental period. The highest plant heights were observed in the first experimental year (2005).

Table I: Characteristics of sewage sludge used in study

Parameters (Unit) (Dry Matter)###Sewage Sludge

Organic matter (%)###34

Total N (%)###4.46

TotalP(%)###1.1

CEC (cmole kg-1)###62.43

Ca(%)###7.4

Mg(%)###1.9

Na(%)###0.2

K(%)###2.1

Fe(%)###0.10

Zn (mg kg-1)###873.53

Cu (mg kg-1)###239.90

Mn (mg kg-1)###903.99

Ni (mg kg-1)###57

Pb(mgkg )###152.5

Cd (mg kg-1)###8.5

Hg (mg kg-1)###0.75

Cr (mg kg-1###168.5

pH###6.82

Electrical Conductivity (PC) (dS ni')###6.54

Bulk density (g cm")###0.676

CaCO3(%)###17.3

Faecal coliform (unitg")###255

Salmonella (25 g)###Not found

flehntht egg (g)###Not found

Table II: Soil properties prior to the application of sewage sludge

Properties###Values

Physical properties

Texture###Sand(%)###41.16

###Silt (%)###23.30

###Clay (%)###35.54

Texture Class###Clay loam

Bulk density (g cm3)###1.31

Particle density (g cm3)###2.59

Porosity (%)###49.40

Permeability coefficient (cm h-1)###2.016

Aggregate stability (%)###47.82

Available water (AW) (Pw)###0-30cm###7.42

###30-60cm###6.89

###60-90 cm###7.76

Chemical Properties

pH~###8.27

Electrical conductivity (EC) (dS m-1')###0.76

CaCO3(%)###10.98

Organic matter (%)###1.71

Cation exchange capacity (CEC) (cmolc kg-1)###35.19

Exchangeable cations (cm kg1)###Na###1.07

###K###3.66

###Ca###32.08

###Mg###1.96

Total N(%)###0.11

DTPA-extractable metals (mg kg-1)###Fe###4.95

###Zn###0.51

###Cu###2.07

###Mn###5.87

Increase in plant heights can be due to mineralization of organic matter, which released enough nutritional elements to enhance plant growth (Antolin et al., 2005). However, sewage sludge decreased plant height with time. In all of the years studied, the most effective application rate was found as 12 t da-1. When compared with the control, sewage sludge application increased plant height in the ratios of 6.58, 5.75, and 8.39, at 4, 8, and 12 t da-1 rates, respectively. Although most effective application rate was 12 t da-1, there were no statistical differences among 4, 8 and 12 t da-1 application rates. Decrease in the effectiveness of sewage sludge by time could be explained by the fact that organically bound N had a half-life of 1 year (Antolin et al., 2005).

Table III: Effects of sewage sludge on yield and yield parameters

Application rate###Years

(t da-1)###2005###2006###2007###Mean

Plant Height (cm)

Control###84.57+-1.15bAPS###80.39+-1.83bA###75.37+-1.54bB###80.11+-1.03b

4###91.21+-1.83aA###86.93+-1.90aA###78.00+-1.65bB###85.38+-1.31a

8###87.07+-1.23bA###88.07+-1.50aA###79.03+-1.32bB###84.72+-0.98a

12###85.97+-1.24bB###90.33+-1.33aA###84.20+-1.33aB###86.83+-0.83a

Spike

Length (cm)###

Control###7.95+-0.19aA###6.06+-0.16bB###6.10+-0.16aB###6.70+-0.16a

4###8.43+-0.25aA###6.64+-0.18aB###6.00+-0.14aC###7.02+-0.19a

8###7.79+-0.21aA###6.37+-0.13abB###6.13+-0.19aB###6.76+-0.15a

12###7.85+-0.26aA###6.43+-0.17abB###6.47+-0.20aB###6.92+-0.16a

Seed Number

/Spike###

Control###19.60+-0.66aA###17.13+-0.45aB###14.80+-0.47bC###17.18+-0.42a

4###19.93+-0.66aA###17.53+-0.32aB###14.87+-0.57bC###17.44+-0.43a

8###18.80+-0.38aA###17.67+-0.27aA###15.80+-0.37abB###17.42+-0.27a

12###19.80+-0.70aA###17.67+-0.40aB###16.27+-0.47aC###17.91+-0.37a

Spikes per m2###

Control###350.00+-3.31dB###383.67+-4.21dA###172.67+-5.89dC 302.11+-14.19d

4###417.00+-3.27cA###422.00+-5.36cA###213.33+-1.44cB 350.78+-14.80c

8###458.00+-1.81bA###459.00+-3.39bA###235.00+-5.12bB 384.00+-16.02b

12###515.33+-3.25aA###480.67+-5.28aB###268.00+-2.84aC 421.33+-16.63a

Thousand

Grains Weight (g)###

Control###59.30+-0.65aA###44.61+-0.65bC###51.62+-0.59abB###51.84+-0.97a

4###59.99+-0.62aA###45.21+-1.17bC###53.30+-0.78aB###52.83+-1.04a

8###59.94+-0.48aA###47.65+-0.52aC###50.63+-0.67bB###52.74+-0.85a

12###56.62+-0.39bA###49.52+-0.54aC###51.61+-0.40abB###52.58+-0.52a

Grain Yield

(kg da-1)###

Control###278.39+-9.55dA 239.18+-14.78bA###99.12+-5.64cB 205.56+-27.72d

4###377.39+-4.70cA###293.47+-5.59aB###151.14+-5.50bC 274.00+-33.12c

8###485.05+-2.98bA 314.36+-17.58aB###156.64+-4.08abC 318.68+-47.71b

12###508.41+-3.11aA 341.17+-20.66aB###168.87+-6.01aC 339.48+-49.41a

Biological

Yield (kg da-1)###

Control###598.09+-20.77cA###611.69+-2.87dA 344.20+-25.43bB 517.99+-44.52c

4###900.78+-7.59bA###712.01+-5.36cB###362.23+-2.63bC 658.34+-78.93b

8###941.96+-6.16bA###756.60+-2.39bB 393.37+-31.54bC 697.31+-81.09b

Table IV: Effects of sewage sludge application on heavy metal content of barley (mean +- SD)

Application rate(t da-1)###Na (ppm)###K (ppm)###Ca (ppm)###Mg (ppm)###Fe (ppm)###Cu (ppm)

Control###1040+-25ns 12541+-539ns###6059+-518ns###1564+-100ns 74.61+-5.16ns 9.95+-0.88ns

4###1055+-29###13026+-357###6988+-476###1501+-100###87.68+-3.48###8.91+-0.82

8###1081+-44###12665+-312###6628+-508###1575+-86###86.12+-7.04###9.17+-0.97

12###1061+-24###13307+-529###6092+-606###1582+-74###75.68+-2.87###9.20+-1.07

Threshold values (ppm)###-###-###-###-###50-100###5-20

Application rate (t da-1)###Zn (ppm)###Mn (ppm)###Ni (ppm)###Pb (ppm)###Cd (ppm)###N (%)

Control###71.75+-2.58ns 16.26+-0.51ns###0.37+-0.07ns 3.67+-0.26ns###0.12+-0.02ns 2.90+-0.12ab

4###72.80+-3.09###17.19+-0.75###0.42+-0.08###3.48+-0.39###0.10+-0.02###2.62+-0.11a

8###72.28+-2.15###16.74+-0.64###0.45+-0.06###3.80+-0.15###0.14+-0.02###2.67+-0.10ab

12###70.06+-1.70###17.03+-0.63###0.47+-0.04###3.96+-0.31###0.10+-0.01###2.95+-0.08b

Threshold values (ppm)###50-100###300###1-10###0.5-10###0.05-0.5###-

Application of sewage sludge increased seed number per spike (Table III). Except 8 t da-1 application rate in first year, sewage sludge increased seed number per spike in all application rates and years. The highest seed numbers per spike were observed in the first experimental year (2005) and decreased with time. In all of the years studied, the most effective application rate was found as 12 t da-1. However, there were no statistical differences among the treatments. Increase in spike length and seed number per spike could be due to organic matter content of sewage sludge.

Sewage sludge, due to its high organic matter and N content, significantly increased spikes per m2 values in all application rates (Table III). The highest spikes per m2 were observed in the first experimental year (2005) and decreased with time. Among the rates tested, the highest increases were observed in the highest rate (12 t da-1). Increase in spikes per m2 can not only be attributed to the increase in available water content of soil (Seleiman et al., 2011) but also improvement in soil conditions (Navas et al., 1998). When compared with the control, sewage sludge application increased spikes per m2 in the ratios of 16.11, 27.11, and 39.46, at 4, 8 and 12 t da-1 rates, respectively. Decrease in the effectiveness of sewage sludge by time could be explained by the fact that organically bound N had a half- life of 1 year and there was no additional sewage sludge and/or fertilizer application to the plots.

Application of sewage sludge increased thousand grains weight (Table III), although this effect was not statistically significant. When means were compared, thousand grains weight varied between 51.84-52.83 g. Thousand grain weights of plots amended with sewage sludge were higher than those of un- amended ones.Biological yield of barley increased in sludge amended plots in comparison to un-amended ones (Table III). According to the results of 3 years mean, biological yield was found as 517.99, 658.34, 697.31 and 768.46 kg da-1 for control, 4, 8, and 12 t da-1 application rates, respectively. When compared with the control, sewage sludge application increased biological yield in the ratios of 27.10, 34.62, and 48.35, at 4, 8, and 12 t da-1 rates, respectively. This increase in biological yield was not only due to increase in spikes per unit of area, but also by the supply of additional C from the sludge (Christie et al., 2001).

The highest biological yields were observed in the first experimental year (2005). However, effect of sewage sludge on biological yield decreased with time. In all the years studied, the most effective application rate was found as 12 t da-1. Decrease in the effectiveness of sewage sludge by time could be explained by the fact that organically bound N had a half- life of 1 year (Antolin et al., 2005). As in biological yield, grain yield of barley increased with sewage sludge application (Table III). According to the results of 3 years mean, grain yield was found as 205.56, 274.00, 318.68, and 339.48 kg da-1 for control, 4, 8, and 12 t da-1 application rates, respectively. When compared with the control,sewage sludge application increased grain yield in the ratios of 33.29, 55.03, and 65.15, at 4, 8, and 12 t da-1 rates, respectively. These results are higher than that of the Igdir plain (287.32 kg da-1) (Anonymous, 2002).

The highest grain yields were observed in the first experimental year (2005) and decreased with time, because of the fact that there was no additional sewage sludge and/or fertilizer application to the plots and no crop rotation. When results were analyzed, it was found that the highest biological and grain yield can be obtained by the application of 15.1 and 13.6 t da-1 sewage sludge, respectively (Fig. 1, 2). With the application of these rates it is expected that biological and grain yield will be gained as 772.43 and 341.14 kg da-1, respectively.

Effects of sewage sludge application on heavy metal content: Sewage sludge application increased Na, K, and Ca content of grain in all application rates (Table IV). However, this effect was not statistically significant. Concentrations of Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, Ni, Pb and Cd in grain were unaffected by sewage sludge application (Table IV). These values remained almost same when 3 years means were evaluated. None of the values exceeded threshold values reported by Kabata-Pendias and Pendias (2001), which indicates that barley grain can be used safely. The highest increase in N content of grain was observed in 12 t da-1 application rate, due to N content of sewage sludge.

CONCLUSION

Sewage sludge is an effective way to improve yield, yield parameters, and metal content of barley under arid climatic conditions. The most effective application rate was found as 12 t da-1 in this study. Application of sewage sludge during plantation improved yield and yield parameters of barley. However, this situation depends on ecological conditions and species. In order to minimize negative effects of sewage sludge to soil, characteristics of sewage sludge should be taken into account according to the critical concentrations. Using sewage sludge as a fertilizer helps not only dispose these materials economically, but also improve yield. Further studies should be conducted to evaluate the effects of sewage sludge on yield, yield parameters, and heavy metal content on other plant species. Acknowledgement: Authors wish to express their thanks to AtatUrk University for supporting this study (BAP-2004/196).

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Author:Angin, Ilker; Yaganoglu, A. Vahap
Publication:International Journal of Agriculture and Biology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Oct 31, 2012
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