The ornamental nursery industry is steadily growing in Europe, and a consequent increase in the demand for substrates related to container plant cultivations is expected in the coming years. Currently, substrates consist in part or entirely of peat, a non-renewable resource with concerns about its environmental impact due to extraction, transport, and use. Therefore, it is essential to focus on alternative materials, particularly waste by-products to be recycled as components of substrates to achieve more sustainable cultivations. In this study, substrates obtained by mixing co-composted dredged sediments (S) and green waste (GW) in different ratios (1:3; 1:1;3:1) were tested for cultivation, and plant growth was compared with a control growing media (peatand pumice in a 1:1 ratio). The cultivation trial lasted for one year and was carried out on two potted ornamental evergreen shrubs (Photinia × fraseri and Viburnum tinus). The results showed that the plant growth parameters of both species, occurring in substrates with co-composted materials, were not significantly affected compared to the control, with the exception of below-ground biomass inV. tinus. Moreover, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis was carried out to quantify thegreenhouse gas emissions (GHG) deriving from the replacement of peat with the other proposedsubstrates. The functional unit was 10 L (Ø 24 cm) potted plants and the results were expressed inkg of CO 2 equivalent (kg CO 2eq). We demonstrated that the replacement of peat-based substrateswith the alternative substrates was able to reduce the GHG emission by an average of 11.56 to23.13%. Higher GHG emissions were related to the cultivation phase (0.9 kg CO2eq/plant), and whilecomparing substrates, we obtained an average percentage reduction of 28.1% to 59.6%. Thus, ourresults suggest that co-composted mixtures of dredged sediments with green waste could be usedas sustainable techno-soils for pot nursery cultivation of ornamental species with reducedenvironmental impact.

Co-Composting of Green Waste and Dredged Sediments Can Reduce the Environmental Impact of the Potted Nursery without Affecting Plant Growth / Nicese, Francesco Paolo; Azzini, Lapo; Lucchetti, Stefano; Macci, Cristina; Vannucchi, Francesca; Masciandaro, Grazia; Pantani, Ottorino Luca; Arfaioli, Paola; Pathan, Shamina Imran; Pietramellara, Giacomo; Manzini, Jacopo. - In: APPLIED SCIENCES. - ISSN 2076-3417. - ELETTRONICO. - 14:(2024), pp. 4041538.4041538-4041538.4041538. [10.3390/app14041538]

Co-Composting of Green Waste and Dredged Sediments Can Reduce the Environmental Impact of the Potted Nursery without Affecting Plant Growth

Nicese, Francesco Paolo;Azzini, Lapo
;
Lucchetti, Stefano;Pantani, Ottorino Luca;Arfaioli, Paola;Pathan, Shamina Imran;Pietramellara, Giacomo;Manzini, Jacopo
2024

Abstract

The ornamental nursery industry is steadily growing in Europe, and a consequent increase in the demand for substrates related to container plant cultivations is expected in the coming years. Currently, substrates consist in part or entirely of peat, a non-renewable resource with concerns about its environmental impact due to extraction, transport, and use. Therefore, it is essential to focus on alternative materials, particularly waste by-products to be recycled as components of substrates to achieve more sustainable cultivations. In this study, substrates obtained by mixing co-composted dredged sediments (S) and green waste (GW) in different ratios (1:3; 1:1;3:1) were tested for cultivation, and plant growth was compared with a control growing media (peatand pumice in a 1:1 ratio). The cultivation trial lasted for one year and was carried out on two potted ornamental evergreen shrubs (Photinia × fraseri and Viburnum tinus). The results showed that the plant growth parameters of both species, occurring in substrates with co-composted materials, were not significantly affected compared to the control, with the exception of below-ground biomass inV. tinus. Moreover, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis was carried out to quantify thegreenhouse gas emissions (GHG) deriving from the replacement of peat with the other proposedsubstrates. The functional unit was 10 L (Ø 24 cm) potted plants and the results were expressed inkg of CO 2 equivalent (kg CO 2eq). We demonstrated that the replacement of peat-based substrateswith the alternative substrates was able to reduce the GHG emission by an average of 11.56 to23.13%. Higher GHG emissions were related to the cultivation phase (0.9 kg CO2eq/plant), and whilecomparing substrates, we obtained an average percentage reduction of 28.1% to 59.6%. Thus, ourresults suggest that co-composted mixtures of dredged sediments with green waste could be usedas sustainable techno-soils for pot nursery cultivation of ornamental species with reducedenvironmental impact.
2024
14
4041538
4041538
Nicese, Francesco Paolo; Azzini, Lapo; Lucchetti, Stefano; Macci, Cristina; Vannucchi, Francesca; Masciandaro, Grazia; Pantani, Ottorino Luca; Arfaiol...espandi
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Descrizione: Co-Composting of Green Waste and Dredged Sediments Can Reduce the Environmental Impact of the Potted Nursery without Affecting Plant Growth
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1357253
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