Land degradation is of concern in many countries. People more and more must address the problems associated with the degradation of soil properties due to man. Increasingly, organic soil amendments, such as compost are being examined for their potential use in soil restoration and for preventing soil erosion. In the Czech Republic, compost is the most used to improve soil structure and increase the content of soil organic matter. Land reclamation / restoration is one of the ways to evaluate industrially produced compost because Czech farmers are not willing to use compost as organic fertilizer. The most common use of reclamation substrates in the Czech Republic is for the rehabilitation of landfills and contaminated sites.
This paper deals with the influence of reclamation substrates (RS) with different proportions of compost and sand on selected soil properties–chemical characteristics, nitrogen bioavailability, leaching of mineral nitrogen, respiration activity and plant biomass production. Chemical properties vary proportionally with addition of compost and sand to the control variant (topsoil). The highest differences between the variants were recorded in leaching of mineral nitrogen (varies from 1.36mg dm-3 in C to 9.09mg dm-3). Addition of compost to soil improves conditions for plant growth in comparison with soil alone. However, too high addition of compost may have adverse effects on plant growth. In addition, high proportion of compost increases leaching of mineral N. Therefore, mixture of 70% of soil with 10% of compost and 20% of sand may be recommended as optimal composition of RS.
This work presents the first results from the long-term experiment, which is focused on the impact of intensive rainfall and long period of drought on microbial activities in soil. Fifteen lysimeters were prepared in the area of our interest. This area is a protection zone of underground source of drinking water. These lysimeters were filed with topsoil and subsoil collected in this area and divided into two groups. These groups differ in fertilization and amount of water received during the growing season. Amount of microbial biomass and leaching of mineral nitrogen and phosphates were chosen as main indicators of microbial activities in soil. Content of mineral nitrogen and phosphates was measured in soil solution, which was collected from each lysimeters. Amount of microbial biomass was determined in soil samples that were taken from the lysimeters before and after the long period of drought and intensive rainfall.