Effect of cropping and fertilization on soil microflora in an oily waste amended loamy sand
A field study to assess the impact of oily waste application on soil properties and crop production was conducted on a highly erodible, loamy sand near Richmound, SK between 1997 and 1999. The oily sludge from the CCRL Upgrader in Regina was applied to alleviate erosion and build soil organic matter thus improving soil quality while utilizing an industrial waste product. Fertilizer and cropping treatments were used to assess their impact on oily waste bioconversion. Oil-related fertilization has been reported to encourage microbial biodegradation of hydrocarbons thus speeding up reclamation and allowing cereal crop production to reach levels similar to the unoiled control within one year (Toogood et al. 1977). Microbial populations or activities have been used to evaluate hydrocarbon biodegradation and bioconversion to stable humus although they are not direct measurements of bioconversion (Bossert and Kosson 1997). The objective of this portion of the study was to evaluate the effect of oily waste sludge, oil-related fertilization, cropping and crop type on various soil microbial populations and microbial activity over the course of the field study.
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