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Effects of humic substances derived from organic waste enhancement on the growth and mineral nutrition of maize

Abstract : A physico-chemical process has been developed to transform and enhance lignocellulosic waste in liquid humic extracts: humic-like substances (HLS). The aim of this study was to determine the effects of HLS on plant physiology in order to consider their agricultural use as organic fertilizers. The effects of HLS were evaluated on maize seed germination, and their impact on growth, development and mineral nutrition was studied on maize plants cultivated under hydroponic conditions. The experimental results showed that HLS do not increase the percentage and rate of germination but enhance the root elongation of seeds thus treated. Positive effects were also observed on the whole plant growth as well as on root, shoot and leaf biomass. These effects can be related to the high water and mineral consumption of plants undergoing this treatment. The high water efficiency indicated that such plants produce more biomass than non-treated plants for the same consumption of the nutrient solution. Furthermore, the use of HLS induced a flowering precocity and modified root development suggesting a possible interaction of HLS with developmental processes. Considering the beneficial effect of HLS on different stages of plant growth, their use may present various scientific and economic advantages. The physico-chemical transformation of sawdust is an interesting way of enhancing organic waste materials.
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Boris Eyheraguibel, Jérôme Silvestre, Philippe Morard. Effects of humic substances derived from organic waste enhancement on the growth and mineral nutrition of maize. Bioresource Technology, Elsevier, 2008, vol. 99, pp. 4206-4212. ⟨10.1016/j.biortech.2007.08.082⟩. ⟨hal-00940093⟩

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