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Research Journal of Environmental Toxicology
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 86 - 93

Residual Effect of Sewage Sludge on Soil and Several Yield Parameters of Zea mays

A.W. Amin, F.K. Sherif, H. El-Atar and H. Ez-Eldin    

Abstract: A field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of using sewage sludge as an organic fertilizer on different yield parameters of maize. Generally, different rates of residual applications of sewage sludge increased heavy metal concentrations in the soil before sowing and after harvesting of Zea mays. Leaf and grain contents of heavy metals were affected by sludge addition except for Cd. In general, the residual one addition of sludge decreased heavy metals contents except Pb. While, the residual two additions increased the concentrations of heavy metals except Cu. Sludge treatments did not affect some plant yield parameters. Increased germination percentage and number of ears per treatment were recorded. The dry weight of leaves increased except at 10 and 40 T/F for one residual addition and 20 and 30 T/F for two residual additions. Mature plant height, number of tillers/plant and dry weights of leaves either increased or decreased for different treatments of sludge. The kernel index decreased in all sludge treatments. Sludge treatments affected the M2 kernel characters of maize, such as inducing yellow kernels, different colored patches in aleurone layer and non-pitted and shrunken kernels. Therefore, the use of sewage sludge as biofertilizer must be applied after pre-treatment to reduce heavy metals in order to decrease the rate of point mutations affecting kernel germination, color and shape and some yield products.

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