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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


LAMBAIS, Marcio Rodrigues  and  CARMO, Janaina Braga do. Impacts of biosolids amendments on the microbiota of tropical soils. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2008, vol.32, n.3, pp.1129-1138. ISSN 1806-9657.

The amendment of agricultural and forest soils with biosolids from sewage treatment plants (STPs) is an alternative to recycle these organic residues. However, biosolids from STPs may contain metals and/or xenobiotics that can affect soil microorganisms. In this study, the impacts of biosolids from the STPs of Barueri and Franca (São Paulo, Brazil), containing high and low metal concentration, respectively, on the microbiota of a Nitisol (clayey) and a Dystric Arenosol (sandy) were determined in microcosm. Immediately after biosolids application and 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 days after incubation, the basal respiration (BR), C in microbial biomass (CB), metabolic quotient (qCO2), and CB/soil organic C ratio (CB/Corg) were evaluated. In general, RB was higher in soils amended with the highest amounts of biosolids, and the greatest increments were observed immediately after biosolids application. In the sandy soil, statistically significant decreases in CB were observed in the treatments with the highest amounts of biosolids. The qCO2 was higher in soils with the highest amounts of biosolids, but decreased during incubation. Regardless of the soil type, CB/Corg was higher in soils without biosolids when compared to soils with metal-rich biosolids. The CB/Corg ratio in soils amended with metal-rich biosolids decreased significantly between 4 and 16 days after incubation, and leveled off thereafter. These data indicate that the amendment of the tested soils with biosolids, independently of the metal content, may cause a transient stress in the microbial community, depending on the applied dose, and that changes in the structure of the microbial communities may have occurred.

Keywords : biosolids; microbial biomass; heavy metal; microbial activity; organic carbon.

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