Present address: Department of Agroecology and Environment, Aarhus University. Blichers Allé Postbox 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark.
Amending a loamy sand with three compost types: impact on soil quality
Version of Record online: 17 DEC 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Society of Soil Science
Soil Use and Management
Volume 27, Issue 1, pages 116–123, March 2011
How to Cite
Arthur, E., Cornelis, W. M., Vermang, J. and De Rocker, E. (2011), Amending a loamy sand with three compost types: impact on soil quality. Soil Use and Management, 27: 116–123. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-2743.2010.00319.x
- Issue online: 21 FEB 2011
- Version of Record online: 17 DEC 2010
- Received February 2010; accepted after revision June 2010
- Loamy sand;
- water retention;
- soil physical quality;
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of the long-term addition of three compost types (vegetable, fruit and yard waste compost – VFYW, garden waste compost – GW and spent mushroom compost – SM) on the physical properties of a sandy soil and to quantify any such effects using indicators of soil physical quality. Soil samples were taken from a field with annual compost applications of 30 m3/ha for 10 yr and various physico-chemical analyses were undertaken. Results show a significant increase in soil organic carbon (21%) with the VFYW and GW compost types. With SM, soil organic carbon increased by 16%. Increased soil macroporosity and water content at saturation with a corresponding decrease in bulk density were observed for all compost types. However, quantification of these improvements using existing soil physical quality indicators such as the ‘S-index’, soil air capacity and matrix porosity gave mixed results showing that these indices perform poorly when applied to sandy soils. It is concluded that the long-term application of compost does not significantly improve the physical properties of sandy soils, but the absence of adverse effects suggests that these soils are a viable disposal option for these composts, but new indices of quality are needed for the proper characterization of sandy soils.