Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman
Purpose Iran is located on the desertification strip where it has faced water shortage and poor quality soils. So it is necessary to improve the soil structure and increase irrigation efficiency. In this context, the use of industrial wastes can increase soil’s organic matter and improve its structure, also amend environmental problems related to disposal of industrial wastes. The objective of this study was to survey the effect of crumb rubber (CR) application as soil amendment on soil water retention curve indices, soil aggregate stability and soil micronutrients. Methods In this study, different amounts of CR (0, 0.12, 0.24, 0.36 and 0.48 g) were added to every kg of the two different soil textures (loamy sand and silty clay). Pots were kept at FC moisture conditions for 6 months. At the end of incubation time, the different soil micronutrient availability, soil structural stability and soil hydraulic properties were measured. Results The results showed that application of CR as soil amendment had significant effects (p.001) on increasing soil organic matter content and soil micronutrient availability including Zn and Fe. Adding CR particles by reducing the aggregate fractal dimension, soil penetration resistance and bulk density, improves soil structure in both types of soil. The results also demonstrated that the use of CR particles can improve water holding capacity in sandy soil and increased plant available water content and air capacity in clay soil (p.001). Conclusions According to our results adding CR particles can be considered as a low-cost solution in order to improve the hydro-physical and chemical properties of soils in these areas.