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Friedel, J.K., Langer, T., Siebe, C., Stahr, K..
(2000): Effects of long-term waste water irrigation on soil organic matter, soil microbial biomass and its activities in Central Mexico.
Biol. Fert. Soils, 31, 414-421

The effect of long-term waste water irrigation (up to 80 years) on soil organic matter, soil microbial biomass and its activities was studied in two agricultural soils (Vertisols and Leptosols) irrigated for 25, 65 and 80 years respectively at Irrigation District 03 in the Valley of Mezquital near Mexico City. In the Vertisols, where larger amounts of water have been applied than in the Leptosols, total organic C (TOC) contents increased 2.5-fold after 80 years of irrigation. In the Leptosols, however, the degradability of the organic matter tended to increase with irrigation time. It appears that soil organic matter accumulation was not due to pollutants nor did microbial biomass:TOC ratios and qCO(2) values indicate a pollutant effect. Increases in soil microbial biomass C and activities were presumably due to the larger application of organic matter. However, changes in soil microbial communities occurred, as denitrification capacities increased greatly and adenylate energy charge (AEC) ratios were reduced after long-term irrigation. These changes were supposed to be due to the addition of surfactants, especially alkylbenzene sulfonates (effect on denitrification capacity) and the addition of sodium and salts (effect on AEC) through waste water irrigation. Heavy metals contained in the sewage do not appear to be affecting soil processes yet, due to their low availability. Detrimental effects on soil microbial communities can be expected, however, from further increases in pollutant concentrations due to prolonged application of untreated waste water or an increase in mobility due to higher mineralization rates.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Friedel J├╝rgen Kurt

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
waste water irrigation
heavy metals
soil organic matter
microbial biomass
microbial activity

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