Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

G. Höflich and R. Mett:

Interactions of plant-microorganism-associations in heavy metal containing soils from sewage farms


In soils from sewage farms around Berlin the microbial biomass and the colonization by bacteria are more influenced by the crops species than by the content of heavy metals in soils. Pea shows the highest microbial biomass on unpolluted arable land whereas maize shows the highest effect on highly polluted sewage farms.

The colonization of mycorrhiza on high polluted soils was to a great extent reduced.

Inoculated phytoeffective bacteria (Pseudomonas sp., Agrobacterium sp., Rhizobiumsp., Stenotrophomonas sp.) with the ability to survive in the rhizosphere, were able to stimulate the growth of maize and the uptake of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, Ni, Cr, Zn) on weakly polluted soils more than on highly polluted soils. The growth of rye and legumes (lupin, pea) was not stimulated. In combination with organic fertilization it was possible to improve the effects of the bacteria on high polluted soils.

Key words:  Sewage farms, heavy metals, plants, rhizosphere microorganisms.