This report describes an investigation into the bioavailability and fate of trace metals and their subsequent impact on important soil microbiological functions such as nitrification, denitrification and methane oxidation in low and high Cu containing soils in the presence and absence of residual organic matter from sewage sludge additions made 10 years earlier. The soils being studied are part of long term sewage sludge trials and include a low Cu soil (13.3 mg Cu/kg soil, 4.18 LOI %), left un-amended to serve as a control soil, soil amended with a high Cu sewage sludge (278.3 mg Cu/kg soil, 6.52 LOI %) and soil amended with a low Cu sewage sludge (46.3 mg Cu/kg soil, 6.18 LOI %). Soil was also amended with inorganic metal salts (273.4 mg Cu/kg soil, 4.52 LOI %) to further investigate the impact of Cu in the absence of additional organic matter contained in applied sewage sludge. Data from the first two years of a project are presented which has included field-based studies at long term sewage sludge trials based in Watlington, Oxford, UK and laboratory based studies at the Institute of Grassland & Environmental Research, North Wyke, Devon, UK.

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