To evaluate the effect of Flue gas desulfurization byproduct(FGDB)as a soil amendment on growth and yield of maize (Zea mays) and to determine the impact of FGDB additions on soil fertility characteristics in alkaline clayey soils, a 2-year field experiment was conducted in Huanghua, in Northern China Coastal Plain. The experiment included five treatments in which the soil was amended with FGDB at 15 cm depth at the rates of 0 t·hm-2, 4.50 t·hm-2, 9.00 t·hm-2, 13.5 t·hm-2, and 18.00 t·hm-2, respectively, before maize was planted. The values of soil pH, exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), and bulk density (BD) of the soil decreased; however, values of electrical conductivity (EC), water holding capacity (WHC), and plant nutrients increased with FGDB application in the soil. Crop plants grow more readily in FGDB amended soils because of improved soil properties. The best ameliorative effect was obtained at the rate of 13.5 t·hm-2. The germination percentage, plant height, and crop yield successively increased in both years. The results indicated FGDB was an effective soil amendment for improving the physicochemical properties and nutrient balance, and enhancing crop germination, growth, and yield, particularly when applied at a suitable application rate.
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