Utilization of Salvinia molesta, an aquatic weed which is notorious for its allelopathy and invasiveness, has been explored by its vermicomposting. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and plant bioassay tests were conducted to analyze the composition and fertilizer value of S .molesta vermicompost. Germination and seedling growth tests were performed in soil supplemented with vermicompost at levels ranging from 0.75 to 40% by weight of the soil on three common food plants, ladies finger (Abelmoschus esculentus), cucumber (Cucumis sativus), and green gram (Vigna radiata). The influence of S. molesta’s vermicompost on some of the physicochemical and biological attributes of the soil was also studied. FT-IR analysis revealed that S. molesta loses its allelopathy, as the chemical compounds that are responsible for it are largely destroyed, in the course of its vermicomposting. There is also an indication that a portion of lignin content of S. molesta is degraded. Vermicompost enhanced the germination success and promoted the morphological growth and biochemical content of the plant species studied. It also bestowed plant friendly physicochemical and biological attributes to the soil. The findings raise the prospect that billions of tons of S. molesta biomass―which not only goes to waste at present but is also a cause of serious harm to the environment―may become utilizable in organic agriculture.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 5, 2017
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