Cumulative effects of vinasse on the characteristics of red-yellow latosols under cerrado vegetation
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Vinasse, a liquor effluent from the alcohol and sugar making industry, was applied annually for twelve years to medium-textured red-yellow latosols under cerrado vegetation sensu stricto, to study the environmental impacts on the biotic and abiotic factors. Four plots were established of which two acted as control and the other two received annual doses of vinasse. The studies were begun in 1980 when the first annual dose of 20 L m-2 year-1 was added to the soil without removing the top scrub layer. Theses doses were added to the soil until 1983, but in 1984 the doses were increased to 50 L m-2 year-1 and used until 1991. Soil samples were taken at a depth of 15 cm every three months from 1987 to 1991. Twenty seven environmental variables in the vinasse-treated and untreated plots were studied. These factors consisted of different enzymatic activities, a number of filamentous fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes and other micro-organisms, nutrients and some micro-climatic factors. The results obtained were statistically analyzed using the Tukey test, Pearson correlation and variance test methods with replicates and three factors. Matrices were determined using the correlation coefficient method and were compared with those of earlier published studies in the same area. The comparison of the results helped characterize changes in the environmental factors studied and in the correlation between them, after using annual cumulative doses of vinasse. Positive effects were observed only for the first six years of this application but vinasse had negative effects after the seventh year. It is concluded that medium-textured red-yellow latosols cannot be treated with vinasse for proloned periods.