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Abstract Detail


Ecological Section

Brower, MB [1], Tuberty, SR [1], Babyak, CM [2], Sakamachi, Y [1], Colvard, B [3].

An Exploration of Chicken Litter-Induced Phytotoxicity in Agricultural Crop Species.

The overall goal of this study is to assess the adverse impacts of phytotoxic trace elements from long-term chicken litter application to corn and fescue productivity. Confined animal feeding operations could have a potentially huge economic and environmental impact on local communities. The focus of this study will be the phytotoxic effects of these metals (copper, zinc). This project will address the inherent complexities of balancing management of sustainable rural economic growth and conservation of important natural resources such as fertile bottomland farming soils. I will test two hypotheses: H1: crop plants (corn and fescue) exposed to supplemented levels (representative of 40-80 years into the future) of metals will exhibit phytotoxic effects, H2: with continued application of trace metals from chicken litter to farm soils, productivity will be unsustainable in the near future. I have determined the current concentrations and ratios of trace metals in the soils of fields amended long-term (20-30 years) with chicken litter. Additionally, a two year in-field leaf tissue burden study is currently in progress. Based on the field data, a greenhouse study will be conducted in 2010 to determine the effects of increasing concentrations of these elements. Both acute and chronic assessment techniques will be utilized (endpoints: percent seedling germination, percent seedling emergence, root/shoot length, bioaccumulation of metals, biomass and leaf condition). If my hypotheses are supported, this research will determine the adverse effects of longterm spreading of chicken litter on agricultural communities. This information will be utilized in education of landowners to create a more sustainable culture of farming productivity and care for the environment.

Broader Impacts:
North Carolina produced roughly 781 million broiler chickens in 2007, nearly 12% of the total number produced in the U.S.1 Much of the broiler production in North Carolina is confined to the rural northwestern corner of the state where Wilkes County alone produced 91.7 million broiler chickens in 2007, as well as an estimated 250,000 tons of chicken litter. Because chicken is the fastest growing meat product in the US, an increase in chicken litter will also continue into the future and therefore is of concern to soil and water conservationists. This project will address the inherent complexities of balancing management of sustainable rural economic growth and conservation of important natural resources such as fertile bottomland farming soils.


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1 - Appalachian State University, Biology, 572 Rivers Street, Boone, North Carolina, 28608, USA
2 - Appalachian State University, Chemistry Dept, 417 CAP Building, 525 Rivers Street, Boone, NC, 28608, USA
3 - Wilkes Soil & Water Conservation District, PO Box 194, Wilkesboro, NC, 28697, USA

Keywords:
Trace metals
Phytotoxicity
Chicken litter
Agriculture
Corn
Fescue.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Hall A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC009
Abstract ID:212

Canceled

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