Response of phosphorus dynamics to sewage sludge application in an agroecosystem in northern France

David Houben, Etienne Michel, Cécile Nobile, Hans Lambers, Ellen Kandeler, Michel Pierre Faucon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sewage sludge is a phosphorus (P) source alternative to P fertiliser derived from rock phosphate, but its impact on soil processes driving P cycling in agroecosystems requires further study. In order to optimise the use of sludge for sustainable P fertilisation, we need to elucidate the drivers of P dynamics. The present study aims at determining how different sludges (heated sludge, HS and composted sludge, CS) affect soil P pools and dynamics. A field experiment was established and soil was amended either with sludge or with inorganic P (triple superphosphate, TSP). Soil samples were collected five times during a vegetation period, and analysed for Hedley P fractions, microbial P and phosphatase activity. Phosphorus dynamics in soil was strongly influenced by P concentrations in sludge. About one year after application, sludge with the highest P concentration (HS) was as effective as TSP to improve soil P availability. The P source of TSP was immediately available for plant uptake, but the high phosphatase activity of the HS treatment evidenced that soil microorganisms released phosphatases which can hydrolyse HS-derived organic P compounds. In addition, the high content of microbial P in the HS treatment suggests that soil microorganisms assimilate P into their own biomass. By contrast, sludge with the lowest P concentration (CS) enriched primarily the weakly-soluble soil P fractions, resulting in lower P availability compared with that in the TSP treatment. Our findings suggest that both high P concentration and slow, but continuous microbial breakdown of organic P substrates derived from HS allow using this resource as an important source for plant mineral nutrition. This study stresses the need to both characterise P concentrations and P forms in sludge, prior to their application in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-186
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Volume137
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

Fingerprint

sewage sludge
agricultural ecosystem
Sewage
agroecosystems
sludge
Phosphorus
France
phosphorus
Soil
triple superphosphate
superphosphate
phosphatase
soil
Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
soil microorganism
soil microorganisms
phosphate rock
rock phosphate
plant nutrition
Fertilizers

Cite this

Houben, David ; Michel, Etienne ; Nobile, Cécile ; Lambers, Hans ; Kandeler, Ellen ; Faucon, Michel Pierre. / Response of phosphorus dynamics to sewage sludge application in an agroecosystem in northern France. In: Applied Soil Ecology. 2019 ; Vol. 137. pp. 178-186.
@article{254b174066dc45b6bbff1fecba3f701d,
title = "Response of phosphorus dynamics to sewage sludge application in an agroecosystem in northern France",
abstract = "Sewage sludge is a phosphorus (P) source alternative to P fertiliser derived from rock phosphate, but its impact on soil processes driving P cycling in agroecosystems requires further study. In order to optimise the use of sludge for sustainable P fertilisation, we need to elucidate the drivers of P dynamics. The present study aims at determining how different sludges (heated sludge, HS and composted sludge, CS) affect soil P pools and dynamics. A field experiment was established and soil was amended either with sludge or with inorganic P (triple superphosphate, TSP). Soil samples were collected five times during a vegetation period, and analysed for Hedley P fractions, microbial P and phosphatase activity. Phosphorus dynamics in soil was strongly influenced by P concentrations in sludge. About one year after application, sludge with the highest P concentration (HS) was as effective as TSP to improve soil P availability. The P source of TSP was immediately available for plant uptake, but the high phosphatase activity of the HS treatment evidenced that soil microorganisms released phosphatases which can hydrolyse HS-derived organic P compounds. In addition, the high content of microbial P in the HS treatment suggests that soil microorganisms assimilate P into their own biomass. By contrast, sludge with the lowest P concentration (CS) enriched primarily the weakly-soluble soil P fractions, resulting in lower P availability compared with that in the TSP treatment. Our findings suggest that both high P concentration and slow, but continuous microbial breakdown of organic P substrates derived from HS allow using this resource as an important source for plant mineral nutrition. This study stresses the need to both characterise P concentrations and P forms in sludge, prior to their application in the field.",
keywords = "Hedley fractionation, Microbial phosphorus, Phosphatase, Phosphorus availability, Waste management",
author = "David Houben and Etienne Michel and C{\'e}cile Nobile and Hans Lambers and Ellen Kandeler and Faucon, {Michel Pierre}",
year = "2019",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.apsoil.2019.02.017",
language = "English",
volume = "137",
pages = "178--186",
journal = "Applied Soil Ecology",
issn = "0929-1393",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Response of phosphorus dynamics to sewage sludge application in an agroecosystem in northern France. / Houben, David; Michel, Etienne; Nobile, Cécile; Lambers, Hans; Kandeler, Ellen; Faucon, Michel Pierre.

In: Applied Soil Ecology, Vol. 137, 01.05.2019, p. 178-186.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Response of phosphorus dynamics to sewage sludge application in an agroecosystem in northern France

AU - Houben, David

AU - Michel, Etienne

AU - Nobile, Cécile

AU - Lambers, Hans

AU - Kandeler, Ellen

AU - Faucon, Michel Pierre

PY - 2019/5/1

Y1 - 2019/5/1

N2 - Sewage sludge is a phosphorus (P) source alternative to P fertiliser derived from rock phosphate, but its impact on soil processes driving P cycling in agroecosystems requires further study. In order to optimise the use of sludge for sustainable P fertilisation, we need to elucidate the drivers of P dynamics. The present study aims at determining how different sludges (heated sludge, HS and composted sludge, CS) affect soil P pools and dynamics. A field experiment was established and soil was amended either with sludge or with inorganic P (triple superphosphate, TSP). Soil samples were collected five times during a vegetation period, and analysed for Hedley P fractions, microbial P and phosphatase activity. Phosphorus dynamics in soil was strongly influenced by P concentrations in sludge. About one year after application, sludge with the highest P concentration (HS) was as effective as TSP to improve soil P availability. The P source of TSP was immediately available for plant uptake, but the high phosphatase activity of the HS treatment evidenced that soil microorganisms released phosphatases which can hydrolyse HS-derived organic P compounds. In addition, the high content of microbial P in the HS treatment suggests that soil microorganisms assimilate P into their own biomass. By contrast, sludge with the lowest P concentration (CS) enriched primarily the weakly-soluble soil P fractions, resulting in lower P availability compared with that in the TSP treatment. Our findings suggest that both high P concentration and slow, but continuous microbial breakdown of organic P substrates derived from HS allow using this resource as an important source for plant mineral nutrition. This study stresses the need to both characterise P concentrations and P forms in sludge, prior to their application in the field.

AB - Sewage sludge is a phosphorus (P) source alternative to P fertiliser derived from rock phosphate, but its impact on soil processes driving P cycling in agroecosystems requires further study. In order to optimise the use of sludge for sustainable P fertilisation, we need to elucidate the drivers of P dynamics. The present study aims at determining how different sludges (heated sludge, HS and composted sludge, CS) affect soil P pools and dynamics. A field experiment was established and soil was amended either with sludge or with inorganic P (triple superphosphate, TSP). Soil samples were collected five times during a vegetation period, and analysed for Hedley P fractions, microbial P and phosphatase activity. Phosphorus dynamics in soil was strongly influenced by P concentrations in sludge. About one year after application, sludge with the highest P concentration (HS) was as effective as TSP to improve soil P availability. The P source of TSP was immediately available for plant uptake, but the high phosphatase activity of the HS treatment evidenced that soil microorganisms released phosphatases which can hydrolyse HS-derived organic P compounds. In addition, the high content of microbial P in the HS treatment suggests that soil microorganisms assimilate P into their own biomass. By contrast, sludge with the lowest P concentration (CS) enriched primarily the weakly-soluble soil P fractions, resulting in lower P availability compared with that in the TSP treatment. Our findings suggest that both high P concentration and slow, but continuous microbial breakdown of organic P substrates derived from HS allow using this resource as an important source for plant mineral nutrition. This study stresses the need to both characterise P concentrations and P forms in sludge, prior to their application in the field.

KW - Hedley fractionation

KW - Microbial phosphorus

KW - Phosphatase

KW - Phosphorus availability

KW - Waste management

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85061920405&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.apsoil.2019.02.017

DO - 10.1016/j.apsoil.2019.02.017

M3 - Article

VL - 137

SP - 178

EP - 186

JO - Applied Soil Ecology

JF - Applied Soil Ecology

SN - 0929-1393

ER -