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Measurement of 15-N-dilution in nitrogen-fixing leguminous host-plants grown in heavy metal-contaminated soils amended with sewage sludge.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date02/2001
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Journal number2
Volume111
Number of pages10
Pages311-320
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Rates of nitrogen fixation by Rhizobium in symbiosis with leguminous host-plants including white clover, broad bean and peas have been established in soils that have been amended experimentally with heavy metal-contaminated sewage sludges. Results from 15N-dilution experiments for the measurement of N2 fixation have shown that adverse heavy metal effects are apparent on symbiotic N2 fixation rates for white clover grown in inter-specific competition with ryegrass under mixed sward conditions, compared to white clover grown in pure sward. Further experiments on broad bean and pea indicated a significant, but minor-inhibitory metal-related effect on the rate of N2 fixation compared to untreated soils and soils amended with a relatively uncontaminated sludge. The implications of the results with respect to sludge utilisation in agriculture are discussed.