A small-plot long-term field fertilization experiment was set up in 2011 with willow (Salix triandra x Salix viminalis ’Inger’) grown as an energy crop in Nyíregyháza, Hungary. The brown forest soil was treated three times (in June 2011, May 2013, May 2016) with municipal biocompost (MBC), municipal sewage sludge compost (MSSC) or willow ash (WA), and twice (June 2011, May 2013) with rhyolite tuff (RT). In late May – early June 2016 urea (U) and sulphuric urea (SU) fertilizers were also applied to the soil as top-dressing (TD). These fertilizers and amendments were also applied to the soil in 2016 in the combinations; MBC+SU, RT+SU, WA+SU and MSSC+WA. All the treatments were repeated four times. In July 2016 the highest nitrogen concentrations in willow leaves were measured in the U (3.47 m/m%) and SU (3.01 m/m%) treatments, and these values were significantly higher than the control (2.46 m/m%). An excess of nitrogen considerably reduced the Zn uptake of the leaves, with values of 39.5 μg g-1 in the U treatment, 53.4 μg g-1 in the SU treatment, and 63.5 μg g-1 in the control. All other amendments or TDs, except for WA, enhanced the specific potassium concentrations in willow leaves compared to the control. No significant quantities of toxic elements (As, Ba, Cd, Pb) were transported from soil amendments or TDs to the willow leaves. In July 2016 the most intensive leaf chlorophyll fluorescence was observed in the MSSC and MSSC+WA treatments.
Open-field small plot long-term experiment was set up during 2011 with willow (Salix triandra × S. viminalis ‘Inger’), grown as a short rotation coppice energy crop in Nyíregyháza, Hungary. The sandy loam Cambisol with neutral pH was treated three times (2011, 2013, and 2016) with 15 t ha–1 municipal sewage sludge compost (MSSC) and with 600 kg ha–1 (2011, 2013) or 300 kg ha–1 (2016) wood ash (WA). In 2018 the MSSC-treated plots were amended with 7.5 t ha–1 municipal sewage sediment (MSS), and 300 kg ha–1 WA. MSSC and WA or MSS and WA were also applied to the soil in combinations during all treatments. Control plots remained untreated since 2011. Repeated application of wastewater solids (MSSC, MSS) and wood ash (WA) significantly enhanced the amounts of As (up to +287%), Ba, Cd (up to +192%), Cu, Mn, Pb, and Zn in the topsoil of willows. The combined application of MSSC+MSS+WA resulted in significantly higher Mn and Zn and lower As Ba, Cd Cr, and Pb concentrations in topsoil than MSSC+MSS treatment of soil without WA. Nitrogen concentrations in leaves of treated plants were generally slightly lower or similar to control. All soil treatments significantly enhanced the uptake or accumulation of nutrient elements (Ca, K, Mg, P) and potentially toxic elements (As, Ba, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in the leaves of willows during 2018, 2019, and 2020. Significantly higher Mn or Zn concentrations were measured in MSSC+MSS+WA than in MSSC+MSS treatments. Significant amounts of Cd (up to 1.11 mg kg–1) or Zn (up to 183 mg kg–1) can be translocated (phytoextracted) from a soil amended with wastewater solids or wood ash to willow leaves. In 2018 the treatments decreased the chlorophyll fluorescence values, while in 2019 and 2020 the light adapted fluorescence yield (Y) values were higher in treated than in control plants.