Science – Future of Lithuania / Mokslas – Lietuvos Ateitis, Vol 6, No 4 (2014)

Biodegradation of Cattle Horn Shavings in Soil and its Effect on the Agrochemical Properties of Soil

Edita Mažuolytė-Miškinė (Aleksandro Stulginskio universitetas, Lithuania)
Ilona Grigalavičienė (Aleksandro Stulginskio universitetas, Lithuania)
Violeta Gražulevičienė (Aleksandro Stulginskio universitetas, Lithuania)


The article presents investigation into the rate of the biodegradation of cattle horn shavings used as plant fertilisers in soil and describes their effect on the agrochemical properties of soil. Research was carried out under field and laboratory conditions. The field experiment was conducted on the farm of organic production at the Centre of Agroecology of Aleksandras Stulginskis University, Lithuania in May – August of 2012. The average air temperature during the experiment was 16.45 °C. Soil pH, specific electrical conductivity value and organic matter content in soil samples were measured. The extent of the biodegradation of cattle horn shavings in soil and in the thermostat under laboratory conditions at the temperatures of 5 °C and 20 °C and at 40% soil moisture was compared. The obtained results indicate that mass changes in cattle horn shavings in the process of biodegradation under field and laboratory conditions (at an ambient temperature of 5 °C and 20 °C) are similar: after 120 days, the mass of horn shavings decreased by 37.3%, 36.2%, and 34.5% respectively. The largest changes in soil pH and organic matter content were observed during the first 60 days. During the biodegradation of horn shavings under field conditions after 40 days, organic matter content in soil increased from 2.53 to 3.20% and soil pH decreased from 8.0 to 7.1. Smaller changes were observed under laboratory conditions.

Article in: Lithuanian

Article published: 2014-10-10

Keyword(s): horn shavings; biodegradation; organic matter; soil pH; specific electrical conductivity.

DOI: 10.3846/mla.2014.50

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Science – Future of Lithuania / Mokslas – Lietuvos Ateitis ISSN 2029-2341, eISSN 2029-2252
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License.