Title: Exploring the possibility of use of sludge as a soil supplement via short term plant study

Authors: Bhupinder Dhir

Addresses: Department of Genetics, University of Delhi South Campus, New Delhi, 110021, India

Abstract: Utility of sludge as a soil supplement was assessed by plant growth studies. Two grass species viz. Setaria viridis L. (green foxtail) and Cynodon dactylon L. (Bermuda grass) were raised in soil supplemented with sludge in the proportions of 50% and 100%. The growth of the plants was evaluated via physiological and biochemical indices. The growth of the plants was not affected when raised in soil supplemented with 50% sludge concentration in comparison to control (untreated). Parameters such as chlorophyll content, sugar, protein levels and photosynthetic capacity showed no significant differences between control and treated samples (50%). A significant decline was noted in plants grown in sludge (100%). Stress induction was not seen in plants raised in soils supplemented with 50% sludge concentration. The electrolyte leakage (EL), relative water content (RWC), malondialdehyde (MDA) and proline levels did not show significant differences in these samples, though a significant change was noted in plants raised only in sludge (100%). Sludge can be suggested as a substitute for fertiliser as it improves soil quality (by adding nutrients and organic matter) which positively influences plant growth and yield.

Keywords: grass; growth; photosynthesis; sludge; stress.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEE.2018.094151

International Journal of Environmental Engineering, 2018 Vol.9 No.2, pp.107 - 114

Received: 12 Jun 2017
Accepted: 03 May 2018

Published online: 17 Aug 2018 *

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