Irrigating poplar energy crops with landfill leachate negatively affects soil micro- and meso-fauna
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International Journal of Phytoremediation. 13: 845-858.
Increased municipal solid waste generated worldwide combined with substantial demand for renewable energy has prompted testing and deployment of woody feedstock production systems that reuse and recycle wastewaters as irrigation and fertilization. Populus selections are ideal for such systems given their fast growth, extensive root systems, and high water usage rates. Maintaining ecological sustainability (i.e., the capacity for an ecosystem to maintain its function and retain its biodiversity over time) during tree establishment and development is an important component of plantation success, especially for belowground faunal populations. To determine the impact of solid waste leachate on soil micro- and meso-fauna, we compared soil from eight different Populus clones receiving municipal solid waste landfill leachate irrigation with clones receiving fertilized (N, P, K) well water irrigation. Microfauna (i.e., nematodes) communities were more diverse in control soils. Mesofauna (i.e., insects) were associated with all clones; however, they were four times more abundant around trees found within the control plot than those that received leachate treatments. Nematode and insect abundance varied among Populus clones yet insect diversity was greater in the leachate-treated soils. Phytotechnologies must allow for soil faunal sustainability, as upsetting this balance could lead to great reductions in phytotechnology efficacy.
Coyle, David R.; Zalesny, Jill A.; Zalesny, Ronald S. Jr.; Wiese, Adam H. 2011. Irrigating poplar energy crops with landfill leachate negatively affects soil micro- and meso-fauna. International Journal of Phytoremediation. 13: 845-858. https://doi.org/10.1080/15226514.2011.552927.