Chemical, biological and respirometry properties of soil under perennial crops fertilized with digestate
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Department of Genetics, Plant Breeding and Bioresource Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Oczapowskiego 2, 10-719 Olsztyn, Poland
Center for Bioeconomy and Renewable Energies, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Oczapowskiego 2, 10-719 Olsztyn, Poland
Department of Soil Science and Microbiology, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Oczapowskiego 2, 10-719 Olsztyn, Poland
Department of Entomology, Phytopathology and Molecular Diagnostics, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Oczapowskiego 2, 10-719 Olsztyn, Poland
Wioleta Radawiec   

Department of Genetics, Plant Breeding and Bioresource Engineering, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Poland
Final revision date: 2022-12-16
Acceptance date: 2023-01-03
Publication date: 2023-03-01
Int. Agrophys. 2023, 37(2): 111–128
  • Digestate improves soil chemical and biological properties.
  • Fresh, dried and pyrolized digestate increase soil content of P, K and Mg.
  • Mineralization of pyrolyzed digestate is slower than fresh and dried ones.
  • Pyrolized digestate can contribute to soil carbon sequestration.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of thea digestate which originated fromon a widely cultivated perennial crop (Miscanthus giganteus). Cchanges in the physicochemical properties of the soil, the abundance of soil microorganisms, and soil respiration were all assessed. Three types of digestate: fresh in the liquid form, processed – dried and pyrolysed, were tested and compared with mineral fertilization and an unfertilized control. Soil samples were taken in spring 2014, summer 2015 and autumn 2016. In total, 14 variables were analysed: total carbon, hot water extractable carbon, total nitrogen, C/N ratio, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, pH, bacteria, fungi, O2 intake, CO2 emission, total carbon mineralized after 7- and 100-day-long respiration. Overall, regardless of the form of the digestate, the chemical parameters of the soil improved, although the extent of the improvement depended on the applied form of the digestate. The highest TC 12.79, N 1.29, K 257.95 and P 149.96 g kg–1 DM were determined in the plots fertilized with biochar. All digestate forms had a positive influence on the bacterial DNA abundance, and biochar also affected the abundance of the fungal DNA and the potential carbon sequestration in the soil. Pyrolysed digestate may have a particular value in the fertilization of perennial industrial crops.
This research is the result of a long-term study carried out at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Genetics, Plant Breeding and Bioresource Engineering, topic number 30.610.007-110. Project financially supported by the Minister of Education and Science under the program entitled "Regional Initiative of Excellence" for the years 2019-2023, Project No. 010/RID/2018/19, amount of funding 12.000.000 PLN.”
The Authors declare they have no conflict of interest.
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