This study evaluates the effect of a chemical fertilizer (ammonium nitrate), a compost (vermicompost from cattle manure) and two biochars (from vine prunings and wood chips, respectively), applied to the soil alone or in mixture, on the yield, phytochemical content and biological activity of Beta vulgaris L. var. cycla (Swiss chard). The respective treatments, each replicated four times, were arranged according to a completely randomized block design. Results showed that vermicompost, both alone and in mixture with vine pruning biochar, significantly increased yield parameters (plant height and leaf area) and yield over the untreated soil and the biochars alone, similar to ammonium nitrate. Moreover, vermicompost, both alone and in mixture, respectively, with the two biochars, determined lower total N and NO3− contents than ammonium nitrate, both alone and in mixture, respectively, with the two biochars. In particular, NO3− content was within the safe thresholds fixed for leafy vegetables by the European Commission to prevent any adverse implication on human health from dietary NO3− exposure. The biochars alone resulted in very low yield and leaf total N content, likely due to a limited release of N for plant uptake, also evidenced by the undetectable NO3− leaf content, similarly shown by plants grown in untreated soil. Vermicompost, alone or in mixture, respectively, with the two biochars, increased the content of specialized metabolites, with a positive effect on antioxidant activity. The organic amendments, particularly compost, could be an alternative to chemical fertilizers to reach a trade-off between yield, nutritional and health qualities in Swiss chard, meeting the needs of farmers and consumers as well as the targets for sustainable food production.

Enhancement of Yield, Phytochemical Content and Biological Activity of a Leafy Vegetable (Beta vulgaris L. var. cycla) by Using Organic Amendments as an Alternative to Chemical Fertilizer

Daniela Russo;Ludovica Lela;Maria Ponticelli
;
Luigi Milella;Anna Rita Rivelli
2023-01-01

Abstract

This study evaluates the effect of a chemical fertilizer (ammonium nitrate), a compost (vermicompost from cattle manure) and two biochars (from vine prunings and wood chips, respectively), applied to the soil alone or in mixture, on the yield, phytochemical content and biological activity of Beta vulgaris L. var. cycla (Swiss chard). The respective treatments, each replicated four times, were arranged according to a completely randomized block design. Results showed that vermicompost, both alone and in mixture with vine pruning biochar, significantly increased yield parameters (plant height and leaf area) and yield over the untreated soil and the biochars alone, similar to ammonium nitrate. Moreover, vermicompost, both alone and in mixture, respectively, with the two biochars, determined lower total N and NO3− contents than ammonium nitrate, both alone and in mixture, respectively, with the two biochars. In particular, NO3− content was within the safe thresholds fixed for leafy vegetables by the European Commission to prevent any adverse implication on human health from dietary NO3− exposure. The biochars alone resulted in very low yield and leaf total N content, likely due to a limited release of N for plant uptake, also evidenced by the undetectable NO3− leaf content, similarly shown by plants grown in untreated soil. Vermicompost, alone or in mixture, respectively, with the two biochars, increased the content of specialized metabolites, with a positive effect on antioxidant activity. The organic amendments, particularly compost, could be an alternative to chemical fertilizers to reach a trade-off between yield, nutritional and health qualities in Swiss chard, meeting the needs of farmers and consumers as well as the targets for sustainable food production.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11563/164354
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