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Title: Technology transfer of biopolymer soil amendment for rapid revegetation and erosion control at Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia
Authors: Larson, Steven L.
Martin, W. Andy
Wade, Roy
Hudson, Richard L.
Nestler, Catherine C.
Keywords: Soil erosion
Soil conservation
Soil amendments
Fort A.P. Hill (Va.)
Publisher: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers.
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: ERDC/EL; TN-16-2
Abstract: Purpose: Sustainable land management at Army installations is a critical concern of the modern Army and the Army engineer. A unique soil additive consisting of a polysaccharide polymeric material, a natural product of plant/soil rhyzobial microbial activity, was demonstrated to enhance site vegetation and control erosion. The effort was supported by the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP, Project ER-0920) of the Department of Defense. Rhizobium tropici, a catalogued symbiotic nodulator of leguminous plants (Martinez-Romero et al. 1991), is also known for its prolific production of a gel-like, extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), a biopolymer (Gil-Serrano et al. 1990). The natural functions of the EPS in the rhizosphere include surface adhesion, self-adhesion of cells into biofilms, formation of protective barriers, water retention around roots, and nutrient accumulation (Laspidou and Rittmann 2002). The secretion of EPS by bacteria is recognized as a cohesive force in promoting surface erosion resistance in sediments (Droppo 2009, Gerbersdorf et al. 2008a, 2008b). This biopolymeric material is produced commercially in dedicated bioreactors, separated from the growth media and derivatized in order to produce a non-reactive (non-crosslinking) material (Newman et al. 2010, Patent No. 7,824,569). Addition of R. tropici biopolymer to disturbed soil along with normal grass seeding activities has, through laboratory and field demonstrations, been shown to be an effective and low-cost method of reducing soil erosion and facility maintenance costs (Larson et al. 2012, Muller and Farr 2015). The biopolymer is non-toxic and — while long-lived — is ultimately biodegradable (MSDS). The case study described in this Technical Note (TN) evaluates application of this biopolymer to a highly disturbed and erodible soil.
Appears in Collections:Technical Note

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