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Natural and NH4+-enriched zeolitite amendment effects on nitrate leaching from a reclaimed agricultural soil (Ferrara Province, Italy)

By Barbara Faccini, Dario Di Giuseppe, Giacomo Ferretti, Massimo Coltorti, Nicolò Colombani and Micòl Mastrocicco


In this paper we report an overview of the main outcomes of a 3-years experimental cultivation carried out in an Italian reclaimed agricultural field amended with different types of zeolitites (rock containing[50% of zeolites), under cereals cultivation (Sorghum vulgare Pers, Zea mays and Triticum durum). The aim of the experiment was to exploit the properties of zeolite-rich volcanic rocks (zeolitites) for reducing the excessively high NO3- content in the soil and in waters flowing out the sub-surface drainage system of the field and flushing into the surface water system, reducing concomitantly also chemical fertilization application rates (up to 50%). Zeolitites were tested both in their natural state and in a NH4-enriched form, obtained through an enrichment process with NH4-rich zoo-technical effluents (pig slurry). NO3- content in soils and in waters discharged through SSDS were periodically monitored during the experimentation and crop yield quantified. Results showed that, for three consecutive cultivation cycles, the overall NO3- concentrations in water extracts was reduced by 45% in the zeolitite treated soils, while in SSDS waters the reduction reached the 64%. Notwithstanding the lower N input from chemical fertilizers, crop yield was not negatively affected in the zeolitite amended soils with respect to the control. Zeolitite addition increased thus soil NH4+ retention and probably influenced several pathways of N losses, allowing a better fertilizer use efficiency by plants and a reduction of the overall NO3- concentrations in the surface waters

Topics: Natural and NH4+-enriched zeolitite, Nitrate, Sustainable agriculture, Tile drains, Water extractable NO3â\u88\u92, Agronomy and Crop Science, Soil Science, Nitrate, Natural and NH4-enriched zeolitite, Sustainable agriculture, Tile drains, Water extractable NO3-
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.1007/s10705-017-9904-4
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