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Growth and Heavy-Metal Uptake by Lettuce Grown in Soils Applied with Sewage Sludge Compost

Zhao, X. L., Mu, Z. J., Cao, C. M., Wang, D. Y.
Communications in soil science and plant analysis 2012 v.43 no.11 pp. 1532-1541
NPK fertilizers, biomass, composts, heavy metals, lead, lettuce, sewage sludge, soil
A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of sewage sludge compost (SSC) alone and applied with chemical fertilizer on growth and heavy-metal accumulations in lettuce grown on two soils, a Xanthi-Udic Ferralosol and a Typic Purpli-Udic Cambosol. The treatments included control; nitrogen–phosphorus–potassium (NPK) fertilizer; sewage sludge compost applied at the rates of 27.54 (SSC), 82.62 (3SSC), 165.24 (6SSC) t hm–²; and coapplication treatment (1/2 SSC + 1/2 NPK), where the N, P, and K inputs from NPK fertilizer, SSC, and coapplication treatments were normalized to the local recommend rates. The SSC application increased the biomass; copper, zinc, and lead contents in lettuce; and soil total and diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA)–extractable metals. However, SSC alone at the recommended rate caused less plant biomass than NPK fertilizer alone. Coapplication treatment obtained greater or similar biomass to NPK fertilizer alone and did not increase heavy-metal accumulation in soils and plants. The results demonstrated that SSC should be applied to soils with chemical fertilizers.