Application of dairy manure as fertilizer in dry land in East China: field monitoring and model estimation of heavy metal accumulation in surface soil

Abstract

Manure-based fertilizer is usually applied to agricultural soils to increase soil fertility and improve soil quality. However, this practice has an impact on the soil environment, e.g., increasing heavy metal contents. The aim of this study was to evaluate and estimate the accumulation tendencies of eight heavy metals, including arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn) in a soil fertilized continuously with dairy manure through a 5 years’ field-scale experiment. Contents of the As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, and Zn gradually increased with the fertilization time of dairy manure at the stable rate of around 326 t hm-2 year-1, leading to annual mean increases of 3.6%, 2.4%, 3.9%, 3.8%, 4.2%, and 6.1%, respectively. Based on the prediction of a dynamic mass balance model using the current practice, the contents of Cd and Zn in the fertilized soil would reach the Chinese standard values for agricultural soils in 48 and 35 years. The mitigation measures, such as lower application rates, for the environmental risk of heavy metal accumulation should be considered.

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Funding

This work was funded by the Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (2014ZX07602004) from Ministry of Science and Technology of China and the Key Programs of Science and Technology from Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Ecology and Environment (2015-05 and 2016-02).

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Correspondence to Xiao-Yong Qian.

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Qian, X., Shen, G., Wang, Z. et al. Application of dairy manure as fertilizer in dry land in East China: field monitoring and model estimation of heavy metal accumulation in surface soil. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-09786-x

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Keywords

  • Heavy metals
  • Fertilized soil
  • Dairy manure
  • Mass balance modeling
  • Environmental risk evaluation