Soybean nodulation and nitrogen fixation on soil previously amended with sewage sludge

J. R. Heckman, J. S. Angle, R. L. Chaney

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16 Scopus citations


A greenhouse study was conducted to examine the residual effects of sewage sludge on soybean Glycine max (L.) Merr., nodulation, and N fixation. Nodulating and nonnodulating isolines of Clark soybean were grown to the R2 stage in soils (Typic Paleudults) obtained from plots where heat-treated sludge had been applied in 1976 at rates equal to 0, 56,112, and 224 Mg ha-1 high (7.0) and low (6.2) soil pH regimes were established by CaCO3 additions. Sludge and soil pH treatments resulted in clearly defined differences in metal uptake by soybean shoots. Plant Zn, Cd, and Ni concentrations were greater on pH 6.2, sludge-amended soil than on the pH 7.0, amended soil. At low soil pH, soybean Zn and Cd concentrations, respectively, increased from 41 and 0.19 mg kg-1 (control) to 120 and 0.58 mg kg-1 at the 224 Mg hat sludge rate. At the high soil pH and 224 hg hat sludge rate, Zn and Cd concentrations were 45 and 0.15 mg kg-1, respectively. Symbiotic N fixation provided 90% of the total N accumulation. Total N accumulation, shoot N concentration, dry matter, and N fixation by nodulating soybeans exhibited a significant linear increase with sludge rate. Total N accumulation, dry matter, and N fixation were significantly greater at high soil pH. For high and low soil pH, respectively, N fixation increased from 422 and 382 mg N per plant (control) to 614 and 518 mg N per plant at the 224 Mg ha-1 sludge rate. While soybean nodulation also increased linearly on sludge-amended soil, a significant rate times pH interaction for nodule number indicated that nodulation was less strongly enhanced by sludge at low soil pH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-185
Number of pages5
JournalBiology and Fertility of Soils
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


  • Glycine max
  • Heavy metals
  • Nonnodulating
  • Rhizobia
  • Waste disposal

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