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Chemosphere. 2013 Oct;93(4):583-9. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.05.065. Epub 2013 Jun 22.

The impact of sewage sludge compost on tree peony growth and soil microbiological, and biochemical properties.

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Department of Environmental Engineering and Chemistry, Luoyang Institute of Science and Technology, Luoyang 471023, China. Electronic address:


In order to assess the suitability of sludge compost application for tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa)-soil ecosystems, we determined soil microbial biomass C (Cmic), basal respiration (Rmic), enzyme activities, and tree peony growth parameters at 0-75% sludge compost amendment dosage. Soil Cmic, Rmic, Cmic as a percent of soil organic C, enzyme (invertase, urease, proteinase, phosphatase, polyphenoloxidase) activities, and plant height, flower diameter, and flower numbers per plant of tree peony significantly increased after sludge compost amendment; however, with the increasing sludge compost amendment dosage, a decreasing trend above 45% sludge compost amendment became apparent although soil organic C, total Kjeldahl N, and total P always increased with the sludge compost amendment. Soil metabolic quotient first showed a decreasing trend with the increasing sludge compost application in the range of 15-45%, and then an increasing trend from compost application of 45-75%, with the minimum found at compost application of 45%. As for the diseased plants, 50% of tree peony under the treatment without sludge compost amendment suffered from yellow leaf disease of tree peony, while no any disease was observed under the treatments with sludge compost application of 30-75%, which showed sludge compost application had significant suppressive effect on the yellow leaf disease of tree peony. This result convincingly demonstrated that ≤45% sludge compost application dosage can take advantage of beneficial effect on tree peony growth and tree peony-soil ecosystems.


Enzyme activity; Microbial activity; Microbial biomass; Sludge compost; Tree peony

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