Addition of a volcanic rockdust to soils has no observable effects on plant yield and nutrient status or on soil microbial activity
Atefeh Ramezanian, A. Sigrun Dahlin, Colin D. Campbell, Stephen Hillier, Birgitta Mannerstedt-Fogelfors & Ingrid Öborn
Rising costs and pressure on supplies of commercial mineral fertilizers and increasing markets for organically produced foods and feeds have led to a growing interest in soil amendments to supply plant nutrients. Rockdust is a by-product of quarrying and its effectiveness to supply plants with nutrients has been a contested issue and there have been no assessments of its effect on soil biota other than plants. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of a commercially-available volcanic rockdust application on crop growth and element concentrations for a wide range of macro and microelements and the response of soil microbial communities to rockdust due to the potential alteration in soil mineralogy.