Science of the Total Environment, 15 November 2014, Vol.499, pp.560-573
Recycling composted organic residues in agriculture can reduce the need of mineral fertilizers and improve the physicochemical and biological properties of cultivated soils. However, some trace elements may accumulate in soils following repeated applications and impact other compartments of the agrosystems. This study aims at evaluating the long-term impact of such practices on the composition of soil leaching water, especially on trace metal concentrations. The field experiment QualiAgro started in 1998 on typical loess Luvisol of the Paris Basin, with a maize–wheat crop succession and five modalities: spreading of three different urban waste composts, farmyard manure (FYM), and no organic amendment (CTR). Inputs of trace metals have been close to regulatory limits, but supplies of organic matter and nitrogen overpassed common practices. Soil solutions were collected from wick lysimeters at 45 and 100 cm in one plot for each modality, during two drainage periods after the last spreading. Despite wide temporal variations, a significant effect of treatments on major solutes appears at 45 cm: DOC, Ca, K, Mg, Na, nitrate, sulphate and chloride concentrations were higher in most amended plots compared to CTR. Cu concentrations were also significantly higher in leachates of amended plots compared to CTR, whereas no clear effect emerged for Zn. The influence of amendments on solute concentrations appeared weaker at 1 m than at 45 cm, but still significant and positive for major anions and DOC. Average concentrations of Cu and Zn at 1 m depth lied in the ranges [2.5; 3.8] and [2.5; 10.5 μg/L], respectively, with values slightly higher for plots amended with sewage sludge compost or FYM than for CTR. However, leaching of both metals was less than 1% of their respective inputs through organic amendments. For Cd, most values were 〈 0.05 μg/L. So, metals added through spreading of compost or manure during 14 years may have increased metal concentrations in leachates of amended plots, in spite of increased soil organic matter, factor of metal retention. Indeed, DOC, also increased by amendments, favours the mobility of Cu; whereas pH variations, depending on treatments, influence negatively the solubility of Zn. Generic adsorption functions of these variables partly explain the variations of trace metal concentrations and helped to unravel the numerous processes induced by regular amendments with organic waste products.
Heavy Metal ; Trace Element ; Organic Waste ; Organic Amendment ; Cultivated Soil ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
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