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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Pulp fibre waste as a soil amendment : rates of net carbon mineralization Kranabetter, John Marty


The potential for using RMP (refiner mechanical process) pulp mill fibre waste as a soil amendment was investigated by determining levels of net carbon mineralization. Under optimum conditions (laboratory incubation study), the pulp fibre waste, being a relatively homogeneous substrate, was found to mineralize at one rate of -0.0078 d⁻¹. In field applications the rate of net mineralization was slower, with rates of -0.0034 d⁻¹ and -0.0037 d⁻¹, as determined by soil respiration and litter bag trials, respectively. A loading effect was noted for this amendment, where increasing the levels of application was found to cause decreases in the mineralization rate. Using pulp fibre waste in forest landing rehabilitation appears to increase the levels of microbial activity in the surface horizon. The higher levels of productivity should lead to improvements in soil structure, and would be a better alternative to only tilling and fertilizing the soil.

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