Effects of spent mushroom compost application on the physicochemical properties of a degraded soil
Abstract. Under field and laboratory conditions, the application of organic amendments has generally shown an improvement in soil physicochemical properties. Here, spent mushroom compost (SMC) is proposed as a suitable organic amendment for soil structure restoration. Our study assessed the impact of SMC on the physicochemical properties of a weak-structured and physically degraded soil. The approach involved the establishment of a pot experiment with SMC applications into soil (control, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 8 %). Soils were incubated at field capacity (−33 kPa) for 21, 42, and 62 days under laboratory conditions. SMC applications into the soil significantly increased the aggregate stability (AS) and decreased the modulus of rupture. The application of SMC at rates of 1, 2, 4, and 8 % significantly increased the total nitrogen and soil organic carbon contents of the degraded soil at all incubation periods (p < 0.05). The results obtained in this study indicate that the application of SMC can improve soil physicochemical properties, which may benefit farmers, land managers, and mushroom growers.