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Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Volume 2012, Article ID 832608, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/832608
Research Article

Compost and Wildflowers for the Management of Urban Derelict Soils

CNR, Istituto per lo Studio degli Ecosistemi, Via Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy

Received 5 July 2011; Accepted 23 November 2011

Academic Editor: Horea Cacovean

Copyright © 2012 Roberto Pini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to verify whether the use of source-separated municipal waste compost could improve the physical quality of urban soils and create better conditions for their management when planted with herbaceous species. A sandy soil in traffic islands was tilled to a depth of 10 cm, and half of the surface was treated with compost (3 kg/m2). A mixture of 25 herbaceous annuals was then sown in the entire area. Organic carbon content and physical characteristics were determined at different times in the soil treated and not treated with compost. The vegetation was monitored in terms of its growth and flowering. The compost-treated soil showed an increase in organic carbon content. Total porosity increased with time in the compost-treated soil, due to a higher volume of transmission pores, which play a role in water movement. Soil aggregate stability also improved in the compost-treated soil. The duration of flowering of the individual species and the overall quantity of flowers were greater in the compost-treated soil.