Compost quality and its function as a soil conditioner of recultivation layers – a critical review
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Institute of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, Christian Albrechts University Kiel, Germany
Publication date: 2018-01-24
Int. Agrophys. 2018, 32(1): 11–18
During a period of 4 years, soil chemical and physical properties of the temporary capping system in Rastorf (Northern Germany) were estimated, whereby compost was partly used as soil improver in the upper recultivation layer. The air capacity and the available water capacity of soil samples were first determined in 2013 (without compost), and then in 2015 (with compost) under laboratory conditions. Herein, the addition of compost had a positive effect on: the air capacity up to 13.4 cm3 cm-3; and the available water capacity up to 20.1 cm3 cm-3 in 2015, in the recultivation layer (0-20 cm). However, taking into account the in situ results of the tensiometer and frequency domain reflectometry measurements, the addition of compost had a negative effect. The soil-compost mixture led to restricted remoistening even after a normal summer drying period in autumn and induced more negative matric potentials in the recultivation layer. In summary, the soil-improving effect of the compost addition, in conjunction with an increased water storage capacity, is undeniable and was demonstrated in a combined field and laboratory study. Therefore, intensive hydrophobicity can inhibit the homogeneous remoistening of the soil, resulting in a decreased hydraulic effectiveness of the sealing system.