ABSTRACT: Nickel pollution may affect microbial communitydevelopment and its activity in soil and, therefore, itsfertility, while organic amendment may affect Ni mobilityand bioavailability. The aim of this research was toascertain the extent to which the addition of sewage sludgeto soil may affect Ni toxicity and to establish theecological dose of this heavy metal. Unamended and amendedsoils with sewage sludge were spiked with differentconcentrations of Ni (0–8000 mg kg-1) and then incubatedfor 3 hours, 12 days and 40 days. Soil dehydrogenaseactivity, ATP content, microbial respiration and microbialbiomass C were measured in the samples containing differentNi concentrations. A mathematical model which describe theinhibition of these soil parameters were used to calculatethe ecological dose of Ni: ED50. Soil microbialbiomass C measurements of all treatments better fitted themodel (r2 = 0.95–0.69 with p < 0.05)="" than="" the="" otherparameters="" studied;="" but="" the="">50 values predicted by the modelhad a high coefficient of variation. For both ATP contentand microbial biomass C, the ED50 values calculatedfor the amended soil were higher than for the unamendedsoil and so that the effect of Ni toxicity on theseparameters of microbial activity may be considered lower inthe former. In this study, an increase in ED50 valueswith the time elapsed was also observed.
Water Air and Soil Pollution 01/2003; 143(1):289-300. · 1.63 Impact Factor