Mortality rates of fecal bacteria in subsoil amended with poultry manure

Q. Zhai, M. S. Coyne, R. I. Barnhisel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


One potential utilization of poultry waste is in the reclamation of surface mine soil. However, little is known about the persistence of fecal bacteria in the buried environments of reclaimed mine soil. A laboratory study was used to determine fecal bacteria mortality during an 8 week incubation in topsoil and subsoil representative of reclaimed surface mines in western Kentucky. Manure loading rates equivalent to 37·5 and 75 Mg ha-1 were used. Manure loading rates had no effect on mortality rates. Mortality rates were adequately described by a two-stage exponential decay model. The rates for the first 2 weeks of incubation were significantly greater in subsoil than toposil for total coliforms (0·31 log10 cells day-1 vs 0·20 log10 cells day-1), fecal coliforms (0·33 log10 cells day-1 vs 0·22 log10 cells day-1), and fecal streptococci (0·31 log10 cells day-1 vs 0·24 log10 cells day-1). Bacterial cell numbers decreased to, or close to, detection levels (3 colony forming units g-1 soil) after 8 weeks of incubation. Manure application to this subsoil does not appear to be a greater threat to environmental quality, due to fecal bacteria survival in reclaimed mine soil, than surface application in the same environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-169
Number of pages5
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995


  • Total coliforms
  • fecal coliforms
  • fecal streptococci
  • mortality rates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


Dive into the research topics of 'Mortality rates of fecal bacteria in subsoil amended with poultry manure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this