Because of the high costs and environmental impacts of peat and chemical fertilizers, the search for sustainable alternatives is increasing. Posidonia-based compost (C) has been widely tested as a growing media, while the combination with decontaminated dredged sediments (S) has only recently been studied. Moreover, little information is available on the relationship between plants and growing media.
In this work, the suitability of growing media (CS) composed of 100% C, 70% C + 30% S, and 30% C + 70% S were investigated compared to peat for ornamental plants (Elaeagnus macrophylla, Photinia × fraseri and Viburnum tinus). Plant growth, physiological, nutritional, and antioxidant responses were also investigated. The CS were compliant with current legislation on growing media. The Cu (+60%; +70%), Mg (+11%; +23%), and Ca (+66%; +72%) concentrations were higher in CS, with 30% and 70% of S, respectively, than in peat.
The plants growing in CS had lower antioxidant activities than those on peat, suggesting a better plant tolerance to abiotic stress. In conclusion, the use of CS growing media, especially those with 30% and 70% of S, can be a valuable strategy to replace peat and reduce the application of fertilizers.
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Vannucchi, Francesca & Macci, Cristina & Doni, Serena & Longo, Vincenzo & Ugolini, Francesca & Masciandaro, Grazia & Peruzzi, Eleonora. (2022). Posidonia-Based Compost and Dredged Sediment in Growing Media Improve Tolerance and Nutrient Uptake in Ornamental Plants. Sustainability. 14. 14419. 10.3390/su142114419.