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Coffee Grounds as a Soil Conditioner: Effects on Physical and Mechanical Properties - I. Effects on Physical Properties

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Coffee grounds (CG) improved some soil physical properties (dry density, gd; porosity, n; aggregation; hydraulic conductivity, Ks; and infiltration rate, IR). Effects on other properties were inconsistent (e.g., sorptivity, S), or unfavorable (e.g., available water, AW). gd decreased and n increased with CG. CG decreased Ks in sand. In calcareous soil, maximum increase was associated with 10% and 15% CG before and after wetting-and-drying cycles (WDC), respectively. Ks increased with CG in clay, with greatest increase attained at 10% CG. IR decreased with CG in sand. In calcareous and clayey soils, IR decreased with CG before WDC but increased after WDC where maximum increase in clay was linked to 10% CG. No solid trends of soil sorptivity, S, were identified. Before WDC, S had the order: sand > calcareous > clay. For most cases, adding CG increased total water holding capacity (WHC). However, after WDC, the increase in water content at field capacity (FC) with CG was accompanied by a greater increase in wilting point (WP) and therefore a decrease in AW. CG improved soil structure and aggregation and increased non-water-stable aggregates in calcareous and clayey soils. Mean weight diameter (MWD) indicated increase in water-stable aggregates in sand at 5% and 10% CG. In clay, MWD increased only at 5% CG. Although results did not show coherent responses with some tested properties, they, mostly, indicate some beneficial effects of CG, particularly in relation to improving aggregation and water flow.
Physical description
21 - 12 - 2018
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