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Dr Peter Leggo

Dr Peter Leggo

Visiting Researcher

Petrology

Mineral Sciences


Email:
Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 333462

Research Interests

Research: Stimulation of Nitrifying Micro-organisms by an Organo-Zeolitic Soil Amendment and its Effect on Plant Uptake of Nutrients

A mixture of organic waste and crushed zeolitic tuff when added to soil will boost the population of nitrifying micro-organisms to a high level. The resulting nitrification provides a source of nitrogen, in the form of nitrate, together with a supply of protons which dissociate cations from the soil particulate matter. Phosphorus present in the organic waste is available for plant uptake together with potassium and other elements essential for plant nutrition. The organo-zeolitic-soil system acts biologically to supply plant nutrients, provided air and water are present, and in this respect functions differently to inorganic fertilizers that are currently used to enhance plant growth. The dynamics of the biological fertilizer is controlled by the rate of nitrification and plants growing in such an amended soil environment balance the uptake of nutrient ions to maximise growth. This behaviour has been demonstrated in experiments covering a variety of higher plants grown in both normal and contaminated soils.

Brassica napus growing in garden soil; 44 days since  germination. The plants are showing early  signs of senescence.

Brassica napus growing in garden soil; 44 days since germination. The plants are showing early signs of senescence.

Brassica napus growing in phytotoxic metalliferous mine waste; 44 days since  germination. The growth rate is greatly retarded but the plants are  still alive.

Brassica napus growing in phytotoxic metalliferous mine waste; 44 days since germination. The growth rate is greatly retarded but the plants are still alive.

Brassica napus growing in organo-zeolitic amended mine waste; 44 days since  germination. The amendment used was a mixture of clinoptilolitic tuff  and chicken manure. The contrast between this growth behaviour and that  of the plants growing in the un-treated mine waste is abundantly clear.

Brassica napus growing in organo-zeolitic amended mine waste; 44 days since germination. The amendment used was a mixture of clinoptilolitic tuff and chicken manure. The contrast between this growth behaviour and that of the plants growing in the un-treated mine waste is abundantly clear.

Publications from this work

  • Leggo, P.J., and Ledésert, B. Organo-Zeolitic-Soil Systems: A New Approach to Plant Nutrition. In: Fertilizers: Properties, Applications and Effects.
    Eds: L.R.Elsworth et al., Nova Science Publications, Inc. 2008. (ISBN 978-1-60456-483-9)

 

Older Publications by Dr Peter Leggo

Key Publications