Evaluation of legumes and poultry manure for the early protection of burnt soils .


Organic amendments combined with the sowing of gramineous grasses are effective for the early protection of burnt soils (BS) but cannot restore soil N status to pre-fire level; this has led to interest in combining their use with N2 fixer legumes. The effectiveness of applying poultry manure (PM; 2 Mg ha-1) and sowing legumes (Lotus corniculatus, Lupinus polyphyllus and Trifolium repens) for the early protection of BS was compared with that of applying PM + Lolium perenne and growing these four species without PM in a 3-month pot experiment, which also included a control consisting of an unburnt soil (US). In US, the shoot and root biomass increased as follows: Trifolium ~ Lotus << Lolium < Lupinus. Compared with those grown in US, plants grown in BS were smaller and weaker in three species (Lupinus, Lolium and Trifolium). The reverse was true for the four species grown in BS+PM, which showed the benefits of PM addition. In all the treatments, plant N uptake, which prevents soil-N losses, increased as follows: Trifolium ~ Lotus < Lupinus < Lolium. The lack of nodules observed suggested that none of the legumes fixed atmospheric-N2.
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