Abstract

Land south of Lille, contaminated by heavy metals from local metal refining, has become the subject of intensive research. Topsoil from this area is used in the current work to investigate the growth behaviour of Spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L., cv. Paragon) when amended with organo-zeolitic fertilizer. Research has shown that soil substrates amended with ammoniated zeolitic tuff promote large populations of nitrifying bacteria which, as the result of ensuing enzyme reactions, produce available nitrogen together with H+ ions. It appears that the proton activity promotes cation mobilization allowing plant uptake to reach levels which, to a large extent, satisfy the nutritional requirements of the plant; only in the case of Zn is the level far exceeded. Very large differences in plant morphology occur when plants are grown in the amended substrates and the resulting development of large dense root systems, which have the ability to bind soil particles, are particularly important in their ability to reduce surface erosion and pollution from run-off.

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