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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Ecology

Soil Properties, Nutrient Dynamics, and Soil Enzyme Activities Associated with Garlic Stalk Decomposition under Various Conditions
Published: Friday, November 30, 2012
Author: Xu Han et al.

by Xu Han, Zhihui Cheng, Huanwen Meng

The garlic stalk is a byproduct of garlic production and normally abandoned or burned, both of which cause environmental pollution. It is therefore appropriate to determine the conditions of efficient decomposition, and equally appropriate to determine the impact of this decomposition on soil properties. In this study, the soil properties, enzyme activities and nutrient dynamics associated with the decomposition of garlic stalk at different temperatures, concentrations and durations were investigated. Stalk decomposition significantly increased the values of soil pH and electrical conductivity. In addition, total nitrogen and organic carbon concentration were significantly increased by decomposing stalks at 40°C, with a 5:100 ratio and for 10 or 60 days. The highest activities of sucrase, urease and alkaline phosphatase in soil were detected when stalk decomposition was performed at the lowest temperature (10°C), highest concentration (5:100), and shortest duration (10 or 20 days). The evidence presented here suggests that garlic stalk decomposition improves the quality of soil by altering the value of soil pH and electrical conductivity and by changing nutrient dynamics and soil enzyme activity, compared to the soil decomposition without garlic stalks.
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