Impact of buried debris from agricultural biodegradable plastic mulches on two horticultural crop plants: tomato and lettuce
MetadataShow full item record
Crop safety Biodegradable mulches (BDM) are increasingly valued and used for substituting non-biodegradable plastic mulches polluting agricultural soils. They are tilled into soil, where they fragment and release compounds throughout their bio- degradation. The consequences of BDM use on the plant-soil environment have been partially studied with pristine and with artificially-weathered BDM fragments. However, to guarantee safety use of BDM, studies on the BDM debris ef- fects are required. For this, to determine potential effects of the field-weathering BDM on plants, a mesocosm experi- ment was performed by sowing seeds from two major plant species commonly cultivated with BDM, tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa), in plant pots containing pristine and field-weathered pieces from seven different BDM formulations, one paper mulch, a polyethylene (PE) mulch, and no-mulch control pots. Germination of both plant species was unaffected by any of the mulch treatments; however, PHB (polyhydroxybutyrate)-based BDM fragments severely inhibited tomato and lettuce plant growth, 90 and 95 %, respec- tively. Moreover, all pristine and field-weathered BDM significantly delayed lettuce plant development. Tomato plant growth progressed better, but growth retardation was also evidenced with most field-weathered BDM treatments. Overall, field-weathered fragments caused stronger effects on plants than the pristine unused ones. No effects were found for PE mulch, either pristine or field-weathered. The obtained results highlight that BDM debris may alter plant development depending on their nature and on their weathering, rather than on their physical presence, and ev- idence the need to conduct further experiments on the impact of field-weathered BDM on the plant-soil environment.
Is part ofScience of the Total Environment, 2023, vol. 856, núm. 159167, p. 1-9
European research projects
The following license files are associated with this item: