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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 407049, 11 pages
Research Article

Applications of Organic and Inorganic Amendments Induce Changes in the Mobility of Mercury and Macro- and Micronutrients of Soils

Department of Agro-Environmental Chemistry and Plant Nutrition, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences, Suchdol, 16521 Prague 6, Czech Republic

Received 11 June 2014; Revised 3 September 2014; Accepted 24 September 2014; Published 23 October 2014

Academic Editor: Antonio Paz González

Copyright © 2014 Mercedes García-Sánchez 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.


Both soil organic matter and sulfur (S) can reduce or even suppress mercury (Hg) mobility and bioavailability in soil. A batch incubation experiment was conducted with a Chernozem and a Luvisol artificially contaminated by 440 mg·kg−1 Hg showing wide differences in their physicochemical properties and available nutrients. The individual treatments were (i) digestate from the anaerobic fermentation of biowaste; (ii) fly ash from wood chip combustion; and (iii) ammonium sulfate, and every treatment was added with the same amount of S. The mobile Hg portion in Chernozem was highly reduced by adding digestate, even after 1 day of incubation, compared to control. Meanwhile, the outcome of these treatments was a decrease of mobile Hg forms as a function of incubation time whereas the contents of magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and phosphorus (P) were stimulated by the addition of digestate in both soils. The available calcium (Ca) contents were not affected by the digestate addition. The experiment proved digestate application as the efficient measure for fast reduction of mobile Hg at extremely contaminated soils. Moreover, the decrease of the mobile mercury portion was followed by improvement of the nutrient status of the soils.