INFLUENCE OF PLANTS ON DEGRADATION OF DIESEL IN SOILSUDHIR SYAL AND V. RAMAMURTHY
The potential of the rhizospheric ecosystems in the removal of diesel from soil was studied. Virgin soils from different agricultural farms were evaluated for their ability to degrade diesel, and it was found that they differed in their ability to reduce diesel. However, in all the soils evaluated, the rhizospheric soils were significantly more potent than the soils from corresponding non-rhizospheric regions in degrading the contaminating diesel. This difference, however, most pronounced in the case of the rhizospheric soil from sugarcane crop. There was a significant correlation between the organic carbon content of the soil and its diesel degrading ability. Diesel content above 0.1% in soil adversely affected the germination of wheat and to a lesser extent pea, and similarly the growth was also inhibited. In spite of this, the hydrocarbon content of the soils was reduced more rapidly in the presence of plants.
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