Author(s): Lazcano C, GmezBrandn M, Domnguez J
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Abstract Cattle manure is produced in large quantities in industrial breeding facilities and the storage and/or spreading of this waste on land may cause contamination of the atmosphere, soil and water. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the active phases of composting, vermicomposting, and also a combination of composting and vermicomposting for reducing the polluting potential and for stabilizing cattle manure in the short-term. For this, the degree of decomposition as well as the microbial activity and microbial composition of the resulting products after the active phase of composting and vermicomposting were analysed. None of the treatments significantly reduced the dissolved organic carbon and dissolved organic nitrogen contents relative to the control, and therefore more time may be required for stabilization. Nevertheless, the lowest values of microbial biomass and activity corresponded to the earthworm-worked substrates, in which fungal growth was also promoted; the combined treatment (composting + vermicomposting) was the most effective in terms of stabilizing the cattle manure. Moreover, earthworms promoted the retention of nitrogen and gradual release of P, as well as a reduction in electrical conductivity, thereby producing improved substrates for agricultural use.
This article was published in Chemosphere
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation