Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 2:35 PM

The Impact of Applied Biosolids and Livestock Manures on Soil Fauna and Plants.

Patrick Jjemba, Univ of Cincinnati, Civil & Environmental Engineering Dept, ML0071, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0006

Wastewater and sewage sludge (collectively referred to as biosolids) and livestock manures contain high levels of organic matter and nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorous. Thus, application of these materials as a soil conditioner makes economic sense and, in fact, application of biosolids and manure to agricultural fields is a common practice worldwide. Applications are often driven by the need to dispose of these “wastes” rather than crop nutrient requirement. Furthermore, these materials may also contain a high level of pollutants such as heavy metals, pathogens, parasites, and organic pollutants (e.g., pharmaceuticals, biphenyls, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons). Of these pollutants, pathogens, parasites and heavy metals have received more attention because of their direct effects on the plants and soil fauna. Of emerging concern is the impact of organic pollutants, particularly pharmaceuticals and personalcare products to these soil dwellers. Soil fauna are important in the ecosystem function by cycling nutrients, facilitating decomposition, and affecting the flow of energy from primary producers. Reported effects of both biological and organic pollutants will be explored and the potential crop production losses from such pollutants estimated.