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Title: Long-term plant persistence and restoration of acidic dredge soils with sewage sludge and lime
Authors: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Philadelphia District
Palazzo, A. J. (Antonio J.)
Keywords: Dredged materials
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: CRREL report ; 83-28.
Description: CRREL Report
Abstract: A field study was conducted to determine whether sewage sludge and lime could be useful as soil amendments on acidic (pH 2.4) and infertile dredged spoils and to evaluate grasses that may be suitable for restoring acidic dredged spoils. Applications of dolomitic limestone in combination with sewage sludge or commercial fertilizer and topsoil improved soil fertility and produced a better overall growth environment at the site. Metal concentrations resulting from sludge applications increased but not to excessive levels. Movement of metals below the 20-cm depth was noted for the extractible forms of zinc, copper and nickel. A total of 29 grass treatments. contalning grasses seeded alone or in combinations and receiving the sludge/lime treatment, were evaluated over a seven-year period, and selected grasses were analyzed for mineral composition. All grass species showed good establishment on the amended, acidic spoil. The ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L. and Lotium perenne L.) were quickest, followed by K·31 tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), the red fescues (Festuca rubra L.), bentgrasses (Agrostis tenuis Sibth. and Agrostis palustris Huds.) and Kentucky bluegrasses (Poa pratensis L.). The ryegrasses and bentgrasses began to deteriorate 21 months after seeding and were not noticed on the site after 50 months. Grasses sown in mixtures with annual ryegrass were not as vigorous as those sown without it after 21 months, mainly due to the earlier aggressive growth and eventual lodging of annual ryegrass. Slight reductions in the ratings of K-31 tall fescue were also noted at this time and were partially related to lodging. This species had higher ratings in subsequent evaluations. Although establishing slowly, the Kentucky bluegrasses had high ratings after 21 months and through the remainder of the study. The red fescues performed well up to 50 months after seeding, but then declined. After 82 months the most persistent species were the Kentucky bluegrasses, K-31 tall fescue and the red fescues. Most treatments in this study had good soil cover after 82 months. As the study progressed, other species were able to dominate sites where less persistent species were sown. There were no continuing differences between varieties within species. The only difference in the chemical composition of selected plants sampled 50 months after seeding was the high concentrations of zinc in Pennlawn red fescue and phosphorus in K-31 tall fescue. After this time the red fescues received lower visual ratings, indicating a partial metal toxicity.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:CRREL Report

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