JEP  Vol.7 No.4 , March 2016
Impact of Crude Oil on Soil Nitrogen Dynamics and Uptake by Legumes Grown in Wetland Ultisol of the Niger Delta, Nigeria

The effects of crude oil on soil nitrogen dynamics and cycling in plant-soil ecosystems and its effect on the growth of legumes (Calopogonium mucunoides, Centrosema pubescens and Pueraria phaseolodes) grown in wetland ultisols were investigated. The test plants species were grown on wetland soil simulated with 0.35, 10.8, 20.5, and 50 of crude oil contamination. The results showed time and species dependent variation in mineral N content of the treated soils. The variation is indicative of significant interaction between the hydrocarbon content and plant species. Variations in microbial N and microbial C were similar and correlation between the microbial N and the total C (Organic matter (C) + hydrocarbon content (C)) in soil was highly significant (r = 0.96, n = 12, P 0.01). The presence of hydrocarbon contaminant widens the C:N ratio in soil and leads to more available N being immobilized by soil microorganisms, which reduces available N for plant uptake. This result implies that crude oil contamination significantly reduces N uptake by plants but increases N accumulation in soil microbial biomass. The findings show that N dynamics, transformation and cycling in soil are influenced by hydrocarbons and that the interactions between hydrocarbon content and plant species in contaminated soil are remarkable. The use of plant Centrosema pubescens with poultry manure or NPK fertilizer for bioremediation is more effective than that of Calopogonium mucunoides and Pueraria phaseoloides. However, the selective attributes of the various treatment approaches adopted here may be exploited for enhanced remediation of contaminated wetlands in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.


Cite this paper: John, R. , Ntino, E. and Itah, A. (2016) Impact of Crude Oil on Soil Nitrogen Dynamics and Uptake by Legumes Grown in Wetland Ultisol of the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Journal of Environmental Protection, 7, 507-515. doi: 10.4236/jep.2016.74046.

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