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Soil aggregate size distribution, stability and carbon content as affected by various levels of municipal solid waste compost

Kashif Bashir, Safdar Ali, Shahzada Sohail Ijaz, Ijaz Ahmad, Zafar Abbas, Adnan Shakeel, Mushtaq Ahmed

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.6(5), 409-417, May 2015

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Abstract

Abundance of stable soil aggregates is an important indicator of good soil structure for sustainable crop production. Application of municipal solid waste (MSW) compost, due to its higher proportion of stable carbon pools, which serves as persistent binding agent for stabilization of aggregates, may significantly improve soil aggregation. In order to evaluate the effects of varying levels of MSW compost upon the formation, stability and associated carbon content of soil aggregates, a field trial was executed for two years in the dryland Pothwar, Pakistan. The MSW compost was applied at four levels i.e. 0, 0.25, 0.50 and 1 % of soil organic carbon in a randomized complete block design. The MSW compost application affected the stability and carbon concentration of different aggregate size classes at the end of the experimental period although the effect on dry aggregates size distribution was less noticeable. The application of MSW compost at 0.5 % level significantly improved the MWD of wet aggregates and the carbon concentration of macro (2 – 4, 1 – 2, 0.5 – 1 and 0.25 – 0.5 mm) and micro aggregates (0.05 – 0.25 mm).

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Soil aggregate size distribution, stability and carbon content as affected by various levels of municipal solid waste compost

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