British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Influence of biosolids and fertilizer amendments on selected soil : physical, chemical and microbial parameters in tailings revegetation Gardner, Wendy; Broersma, Klaas; Naeth, Anne; Jobson, Al


A three year field study was conducted on two different tailings, Bethlehem (silt loam) and Trojan (sand), to determine the effects of fertilizer and biosolids amendments on selected soil physical, chemical and microbial parameters. Following addition of biosolids at rates of 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 Mg ha⁻¹ soil bulk density decreased linearly. Biosolids addition resulted in an increase in water retention (gravimetric) at field capacity and wilting point but no significant change in water holding capacity were noted. On a volumetric basis water holding capacity decreased with increasing biosolids addition for the silt loam site, but showed no change for the sandy site. Soil pH was generally not impacted by treatment while electrical conductivity, soil organic matter, total carbon and cation exchange capacity all increased with increasing levels of biosolids. Addition of biosolids resulted in an increase in total heterotrophic aerobes, total anaerobes, sulfate reducers, iron reducers and denitrifiers. The chemical fertilizer amendment did not alter soil physical or chemical parameters from that of the control.

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