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Organic amendments for soil restoration in arid and semiarid areas: a review

Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS-CSIC), Campus Universitario de Espinardo, E-30100, Espinardo, Murcia, Spain

Special Issues: Waste recycling, Reduction and Management

The use of organic amendments produced from organic waste has been widely studied. Not much is known, however, about the use of such amendments for restoring abandoned or degraded soils in arid and semiarid areas that could serve as good carbon sinks. Such soils have scarce vegetation and organic matter but contain a variety of microorganisms adapted to different types of stress. The characteristics of “organic amendments” depend on their origin (urban: domestic organic waste and sludges from urban wastewater treatments; other: animal (manure), agricultural or agroindustrial) and determine in part their potential positive or negative effects on the soils they are applied to. The way amendments have been treated (e.g., composting) also determines how they will behave in the soil. This review covers the last 15 years of published research concerning the use of organic amendments on degraded soils in arid and semiarid environments for restoration purposes.
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