Chemically versus thermally processed brown shrimp shells or Chinese mitten crab as a source of chitin, nutrients or salts and as microbial stimulant in soilless strawberry cultivation

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Abstract

Brown shrimp (Crangon crangon) shells and Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) were chemically demineralized and deproteinized (denoted as M1 to M4 for the shrimp shells and M5 to M7 for the Chinese mitten crab), and shrimp shells were torrefied at 200 to 300°C (denoted as R200, R255, R300), and were compared with a commercially available chitin source (denoted as reference chitin). Based on their chemical characteristics, a selection of chitin sources was tested for their N mineralization capacity. The N release was high for the chemically treated shrimp shells and Chinese mitten crab, but not for the torrefied shrimp shells with or without acid treatment, indicating that treatment at 200°C or higher resulted in low N availability. Interaction with nutrients was tested in a leaching experiment with limed peat for three thermally and two chemically processed shrimp shells and the reference chitin source. The K concentrations in the leachate for the chemically treated shrimp shells and the reference chitin were lower than for limed peat during fertigation. Irreversible K retention was observed for one source of chemically treated shrimp shells, and the reference chitin. The thermally treated shrimp shells had a significantly higher net release of P, Na and Cl than the treatment without chitin source. Three shrimp shell based materials (M4, R200 and R300) and the reference chitin were tested in a greenhouse trial with strawberry at a dose of 2g/L limed peat. A very positive and significant effect on Botrytis cinerea disease suppression in the leaves was found for the reference chitin, M4 and R200 compared to the unamended control. The disease suppression of the 3 chitin sources was linked with an increase of the microbial biomass in the limed peat with 24% to 28% due to chitin decomposition and a 9-44% higher N uptake in the plants.
Original languageEnglish
Article number145263
JournalScience of the Total Environment
ISSN0048-9697
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • fertigation
  • torrefaction
  • growing media
  • disease suppression
  • mineral N release
  • circular horticulture

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