Purpose: The increasing need for disposal of lake-dredged material (LDM) as a consequence of intensified natural and/or anthropogenically mediated erosion processes has lead the scientific community to find new strategies for its reuse. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of LDM use on the biochemical and functional performance of a degraded soil affected by erosion and entisolization processes. Materials and methods: As a paradigmatic case study, a hydrographic basin located in Sardinia (Italy) was investigated. Severe soil degradation processes affect this area and have resulted in intensive sheet and rill water erosion. In contrast, an increase in sedimentation has been recorded on the bottom of an artificial lake. A degraded soil, collected in this area, were treated by co-utilization of LDM, other mineral matrices (a zeolitized tuff), organic amendment (a commercial manure), and mineral fertilizer (urea, triple superphosphate, and potassium sulfate) for the growth of a pasture grass under controlled (pot) conditions. The evolution of nine different model proto-horizons (MPH) was monitored through a series of biochemical parameters and techniques (total/extracellular enzymatic activity, isoelectric focusing, and gas chromatography) to assess the potential of LDM in soil biochemical recovery. Results and discussion: On the whole, treatments containing LDM resulted in good recovery of degraded soils, as shown by a general enhancement in biochemical functionality. Application of LDM increased the more stable fraction of organic matter and its active biochemical fraction, showing the highest stable humic carbon content and humic activity. Such outcomes seem to represent a long-term beneficial effect on soil functionality. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that LDM could be a useful pedotechnomaterial (PTM) for improving the biochemical functionality of extremely degraded soils. Additionally, the use of LDM as a PTM has the ecological advantage of recycling what is often considered as a “waste material.” From a socioeconomic point of view, the reuse of LDM in pedotechnique could represent a new low-cost alternative to the complex and expensive management and disposal of this material.
Biochemical performance of degraded soil recovered by lake-dredged materials (LDM) as pedotechnomaterials / Bondi, Giulia; Capra, Gian Franco; Macci, Cristina; Ceccanti, Brunello; Grilli, Eleonora; Vacca, Sergio; Duras, Maria Giustina; Dessena, Maria Antonietta; Marras, Gabriele; Buondonno, Andrea; Masciandaro, Grazia. - In: JOURNAL OF SOILS AND SEDIMENTS. - ISSN 1439-0108. - 16:7(2016), pp. 1871-1888. [10.1007/s11368-016-1376-7]