[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Cu, Ni and Zn accumulations in leaves and roots of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L) grown in soil amended with natural and contaminated cattle manure vermicompost were evaluated. The vermicompost residues containing relatively high metal concentrations used in this work were obtained from a previous experiment, in which vermicompost was applied to removing metals from electroplating wastes. Sequential lettuce cultivations were conducted in pots containing the residual substrates from the first cultivation by adding metal-enriched vermicompost residues. In general, the Cu, Ni and Zn concentrations in leaves and roots of lettuce plants grown in vermicompost enriched with these metals were higher than in the treatment using the natural vermicompost. The metal concentrations in leaves from treatments with natural vermicompost were below the critical concentrations of toxicity to plants. However, the metal concentrations in leaves of the third cultivation in which metal-enriched vermicompost was applied were greater than the upper limit that causes plant toxicity, but no visual damage was observed in the plants. Treatment with Zn-enriched vermicompost resulted in toxicity symptoms, but plant damage did not result in the death of the plant. The chemical fractionation of Cu, Ni and Zn in residues from lettuce cultivation was evaluated by using a sequential extraction procedure and metal concentrations were increased in the different chemical fractions according to the increase of vermicompost dose.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The tremendous increase in population, urbanization, industrialization and agricultural production
results in accumulation quantities of solid wastes. This has created serious problem in the
environment. In order to dispose this waste safely it should be converted effectively. This is
achieved by bio-composting and vermicomposting of farm, urban and agro-industrial waste. It is
being increasing realized that composting is an environment friendly process, convert wide variety
of wastes into valuable agricultural inputs. Compost is excellent source of humus and plant
nutrients, on application of which improve soil biophysical properties and organic matter status of
the soil. This present review focused on vermicomposting and its importance in improvement of
soil nutrition and agricultural crops. This review assesses the following topics: vermicomposting,
raw materials of vermicomposting, microbiology of vermicomposting, effect of vermicompost
materials in agriculture and physico-chemical properties of soil, and importance of vermicompost.
Recycling organic wastes through vermicomposting is being considered as an economically viable
solution. Earthworms are considered as natural bioreactors while proliferate along with other
microorganisms and provide required conditions for the biodegradation of wastes
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vermicomposting is a non-thermophilic, boioxidative process that involves earthworms and associated microbes. This biological organic waste decomposition process yields the biofertilizer namely the vermicompost. Vermicompost is a finely divided, peat like material with high porosity, good aeration, drainage, water holding capacity, microbial activity, excellent nutrient status and buffering capacity thereby resulting the required physiochemical characters congenial for soil fertility and plant growth. Vermicompost enhances soil biodiversity by promoting the beneficial microbes which inturn enhances plant growth directly by production of plant growth-regulating hormones and enzymes and indirectly by controlling plant pathogens, nematodes and other pests, thereby enhancing plant health and minimizing the yield loss. Due to its innate biological, biochemical and physiochemical properties, vermicompost may be used to promote sustainable agriculture and also for the safe management of agricultural, industrial, domestic and hospital wastes which may otherwise pose serious threat to life and environment.
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