Sugar Tech

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Changes in the Microbial Metabolism of Agricultural Tropical Soils Amended with Sugarcane Vinasses

  • Paulo Roger Lopes AlvesEmail author
  • German Andres Estrada-Bonilla
  • Daniel Bini
  • Elke Jurandy Bran Nogueira Cardoso
Short Communication


Sugarcane vinasse is a liquid waste derived from ethanol production. In Brazil, large amounts of this waste are applied to soil as fertigation. In general, this management seems to be beneficial for soil fertility and for some biological parameters, though the published information about the effects of sugarcane vinasse on the soil biota is controversial and the results may vary according to the vinasses’ composition. In this study, we assessed the effects of different sugarcane vinasses on microbial growth and activity indicators to verify their influence on soil microbial metabolism. For this purpose, we used two vinasses from different distillery plants (VA and VB) and a vinasse from a laboratory production (VC). Increasing concentrations of these vinasses were amended on two tropical Oxisols, with 33.6% (RL) and 17.6% (RYL) of clay, in a microcosm experiment with sugarcane plants. Ten, 30 and 60 days after application, we assessed the effects of the vinasses on soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC), basal soil respiration (C–CO2), the metabolic quotient (qCO2) and dehydrogenase activity of the soils. We found an increase in MBC, C–CO2, qCO2, as well as in dehydrogenase activity with increasing vinasse concentrations in both soils, when compared to the control. These changes were attributed mainly to the addition of carbon sources (C) of the vinasses to the soils, which improves the general biological activity.


Microbial activity Fertigation Waste management Dehydrogenase 



The authors thank National Council for Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq) for a research grant.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12355_2019_701_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (846 kb)
Supplementary material 1. pH and moisture of the two Oxisols (Red Latosol, RL; Red-Yellow Latosol, RYL), after 10, 30 and 60 days of exposure to increasing concentrations of the vinasses VA, VB and VC in the microcosm experiment. Values are expressed in mean ± standard deviation; n = 4. Asterisks (*) indicate a significant increase in the treatment when compared to its respective control soil, within each sampling time (Dunnett’s test, p ≤ 0.05). (JPEG 845 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society for Sugar Research & Promotion 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federal University of Fronteira Sul (UFFS)ChapecóBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ)University of São Paulo (USP)PiracicabaBrazil
  3. 3.Colombian Corporation for Agricultural Research (AGROSAVIA)CundinamarcaColombia
  4. 4.Department of BiologyUniversidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste (UNICENTRO)GuarapuavaBrazil

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