Use of Vermicompost in Pepper Cultive in Cd Contaminated Soil
Keywords:Heavy metal, Contaminated soil, Vermicomposting, Capsicum annuum L
The recurring presence of heavy metals in the soil may contaminate vegetables that are subsequently consumed by humans. Depending on the concentration, the presence of substances such as cadmium (Cd) in the human body can lead to many diseases. Due to this, it is important to conduct studies that provide quantification and removal possibilities of these elements in contaminated soils. In this sense, the aim of this paper is to evaluate the use of vermicompost to reduce Cd uptake in pepper and study of the effects in the plants growing. To conduct the experiments, plastic worm reactors containing earthworms (Eisenia andrei) were prepared and filled with different organic matters. After 60 days with controlled temperature and humidity, the vermicompost was collected and mixed with Cd contaminated soil in different proportions, such 0:100; 25:75; 50:50; 75:25 and 100:0 of vermicompost:soil, respectively. After, plants of Capsicum annuum L. were cultivated and 70 days later, the plants were harvested, cleaned, measured, weighed and dried. Moisture, height, fresh and dry masses, fruit protein and Cd were analyzed in the vegetables. The results showed Cd presence in the plants affected the development of the peppers’ shoots and caused a reduction fruits production. Using vermicompost mixed with the soil improved plant development and uptake Cd was reduced to the plants. The best results of plant development were reached in proportions 50% of vermicompost. In conclusion, it is possible to grow pepper on soil contaminated with Cd provided it has a certain amount of vermicompost in the substrate.
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