Fate and Transport of Nitrogen at a Deep Row Biosolids Application Hybrid Poplar Tree Farm
Buswell, Carrie Ursula
Felton, Gary K
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This study focused on a gravel mine reclamation site using biosolids in deep rows as a nutrient source and hybrid poplar trees as the stabilizing crop. Biosolids application rates of 481, 962, and 1443 dry Mg/ha and tree densities of 0, 716, and 1074 trees/ha and controls (0 dry Mg/ha - 0 trees/ha) were studied. Total nitrogen, ammonium, nitrite and nitrate in soil water samples from pan and suction lysimeters under and around the biosolids rows were evaluated. Total nitrogen was predominantly in the form of ammonium. Ammonium concentrations in more than half the samples were above 100 mg/L, reflecting the average biosolids concentration of 2,300 mg/kg. No significant differences (a = 0.05) were determined between application rates or tree densities, but ammonium concentration significantly decreased with distance below the biosolids row. Nitrite and nitrate nitrogen concentrations were predominantly non-detects or less than 1 mg/L, indicating that nitrification was not occurring.