Seaweed compost for agricultural crop production

Cole, Andrew J., Roberts, David A., Garside, Alan L., de Nys, Rocky, and Paul, Nicholas A. (2016) Seaweed compost for agricultural crop production. Journal of Applied Phycology, 28 (1). pp. 629-642.

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Abstract

This study manipulated the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio (C:N) of seaweed composts by varying the proportion of high N green seaweed (Ulva ohnoi) and high C sugarcane bagasse to assess their quality and suitability for use in agricultural crop production. Seaweed-bagasse mixes that had an initial C:N ratio greater than 18:1 (up to 50:1) could be transformed into a mature compost within 16 weeks. However, only composts with a high seaweed content and therefore low initial C:N (18 and 22:1) supported a consistently high rate of plant growth, even at low application rates. Sugarcane grown in these high seaweed composts had a 7-fold higher total above-ground biomass than low seaweed composts and a 4-fold higher total above-ground biomass than sugarcane grown in commercial compost that did not contain seaweed. Overall, the optimal initial C:N ratio for seaweed-based compost was 22:1 which corresponds to 82 % seaweed on a fresh weight basis. This ratio will produce a high quality mature compost whilst also ensuring that a high proportion of the nitrogen (>90 %) in the Ulva biomass is retained through the composting process.

Item ID: 40311
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: macroalgae, phosphorous, nitrogen, agriculture, salt, electrical conductivity
ISSN: 1573-5176
Funders: Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (AMCRC), MBD Energy Research and Development Program for Biological Carbon Capture and Storage
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2015 03:54
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070401 Aquaculture @ 20%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management @ 40%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070306 Crop and Pasture Nutrition @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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