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IV. Selection and Design of System

IV. Selection and Design of System

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168



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cannery wastes at Paris, Texas, were 2-6% and the overland flow distances

were 60-90 m (Law et al., 1970; Gilde, 1973). The average application

was about 1.3 cm/day, which was applied in 6-8 hours each day. Thomas

(1973b) used slopes of 2-4%, overland flow distances of 36 m, and applications of 1-1.4 cm/day applied in about 8 hours, in his study with raw

sewage. The loading rates and hence the land requirements for overland

flow systems are approximately in the same category as those for low-rate

infiltration systems, Overland flow systems require smooth topographies

and uniform application of the wastewater at the upper end of the reach

to prevent channeling. The vegetation may consist of Reed canarygrass

in temperate climates and of bermudagrass in warm climates. Other grasses

have also been used. Certain rushes (Scirpus Zacustris) have been reported

to be very effective in removing pollutants from wastewater (Seidel, 1966).

Low-rate systems are best suited for humid climates with relatively low

evapotranspiration rates. Here, the salt content of the percolate will not

be much higher than that of the original wastewater. Low-rate systems

often permit normal agricultural use of the receiving fields. Compared to

other land treatment systems, low rate systems normally will yield the best

quality renovated water. If used on a large scale, however, native groundwater supplies may be affected over a large area. The spread of contamination may be difficult to control, raising concern over the long-term effects

of diffuse sources (Walker, 1973).

Wastewater may be applied with sprinklers, basins, or furrows, depending on the topography. Bendixen et al. (1968) reported no significant

differences between these application techniques with respect to the performance of the system. Sands and other permeable soil may drain so rapidly

that, when the wastewater is applied with sprinklers, sufficient air may enter

the soil between sprinkler-head rotations to maintain aerobic conditions

in the upper .,ortion of the soil. This will restrict denitrification and complete nitrificaion of the nitrogen in the wastewater can be expected, even

after prolonbed application (Smith, 1971 ) .

If wastewater is used for irrigation or similar low-rate systems in arid

regions with high evapotranspiration rates, the salt content of the percolate

will be much higher than that of the wastewater and the percolate will

be unsuitable for groundwater recharge (Bouwer, 1974). Thus, artificial

drainage may be required to remove the salty deep percolation water from

the soil, as commonly practiced in irrigated agriculture.

The large land requirements of low-rate systems may pose a problem

when large volumes of effluent are to be applied. At an application rate

of 2.5 cm/week for example, a city of 100,000 people would require some

1200 ha to dispose of its effluent. Muskegon County in Michigan has

acquired 4000 ha of land northeast of the city of Muskegon to handle



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169



a domestic and industrial wastewater flow of 164,000 m3/day (Chaiken

et al., 1973).

Where permeable soils (loams, sandy loams, and fine sands) are available, high-rate systems are possible. The land requirements of high-rate

systems may only be a few percent of those for low-rate systems. However,

normal agricultural utilization of the land is often not feasible, requiring

that the land be dedicated to wastewater renovation. High-rate systems

are the only land treatment systems that can be used in warm, dry climates

to yield renovated water that has about the same salt content as the original

wastewater (Bouwer, 1974). This is important if the renovated water is

to be reused.

The spread of renovated water into the groundwater basin below highrate systems can be controlled by collecting the renovated water with drains

if the aquifer is shallow, or with wells if the aquifer is deep (Bouwer, 1970,

1973c, 1974). The drains or wells must be located far enough from the

infiltration system to allow sufficient time and distance of underground

travel for the wastewater. The system can be so designed and operated that

theoretically all the wastewater infiltrating into the soil can be collected by

the wells or drains, without any renovated water moving into the groundwater outside the system of infiltration fields and collection facilities. This

means that the portion of the aquifer between the infiltration and collection

facilities is dedicated to renovation of wastewater. After collection, the renovated water can be used for unrestricted irrigation, recreation, industrial

purposes, or it can be discharged into surface water. Domestic use of this

water is not recommended until it is proven safe (Long and Bell, 1972;

American Water Works Association Board of Directors, 1973). High-rate

systems lend themselves for pre- or posttreatment of water in connection

with advanced in-plant treatment of wastewater. This is done in various

countries where low-quality surface water is used for municipal water

supplies.

Since the performance of a land-treatment system depends so much on

the local soil, hydrogeology, and climate, as well as on the waste characteristics themselves, local experimentation and pilot projects are usually

needed if land treatment is considered and local experience with such systems is not available. After installation of the full-scale project, good management, and monitoring of the system so that undesirable performance

can be corrected before too much damage is done, are essential.

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BIOMASS PRODUCTIVITY OF MIXTURES

6. R. Trenbath'

Waite Agricultural Research Institute, University of Adelaide,

Adelaide, South Australia



Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Comparison of Yields of Mixtures and Monocultures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Theoretical Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Types of Interaction Causing Nontransgressive Deviations of Mixture

Yields from Mid-Monoculture Values ..............................

V. Mechanisms Capable of Causing Transgressive Yielding by Mixtures . . . .

VI. Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



I.

11.

111.

IV.



I.



177

179

183

186

196

205

206



Introduction



Mixtures of field crops are still extensively grown in primitive agriculture, but where more advanced methods are used, monocultures are usual.

Claims have frequently been made, however, that communities with some

degree of genotypic heterogeneity have advantages over pure stands. The

alleged advantages have included one or more of the following: higher

yields, lower variability of yield from season to season, a better spreading

of production over the growth period, less susceptibility to disease or lodging, and an improved quality of the crop product.

The yield advantage that would justify the growing of a mixture has

commonly been thought to be a higher yield from the mixture than from

an equal area divided between monocultures of the components in the same

proportion as that in which they occur in the mixture (e.g., Jensen, 1952).

Numerous reports of this kind of mixture advantage [reviewed in Jensen

(1952) and in Simmonds ( 1962)] gave the impression that mixed cropping

was highly desirable. More recently the advantage required to justify

mixed culture has been realized to be a superiority of the yield of the mixture over that of the better (or best) of its components grown in monoculture over the whole of the same area (Donald, 1963; Frey and Maldonado,

Present address: Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National

University, Canberra City, Australia.



177



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B. R . TRENBATH



1967). Judged from this standpoint, the performance of mixtures seems

much less encouraging. Indeed, mixtures occasionally yield less than the

less (or least) productive monoculture, a type of result which tends to

receive little emphasis.

Although a yield and quality advantage has been firmly established for

legume-grass mixtures grown for forage, the experimental substantiation

of claims for other combinations, such as varieties of field crops, has proved

difficult. This has been due to the usually small size of the advantage and

its apparent dependence on relatively specific co.mbinations of biological

material and environment. However, the possibility of gaining benefits from

the simple mixing of seeds holds such attractions for agriculturalists that

research into the productivity of mixtures continues. There are three main

objectives in this research: the first is to screen mixtures composed of

more-or-less randomly selected genotypes for “lucky,” high-yielding combinations. The second objective is to test the alleged advantages of traditionally grown mixtures, particularly those of some less-developed countries. The third objective is to gain an understanding of the processes which

lead to mixture advantages so that in a specific environment, a rational

choice of components may produce mixtures showing benefits unobtainable

from pure cultures.

Since there is much literature concerning the yields of mixtures (reviewed by Aiyer, 1949; Simmonds, 1962; Baldy, 1963; Donald, 1963),

the present survey treats only a limited part of what has been written on

this subject. The first limitation refers to sources: the reports considered

have mostly appeared in English-language and West European journals

and dissertations. The second limitation is that grazed crops are not considered although crops cut for fodder are included. A third restriction refers

to experimental design: in order to be included in the section concerned

with yields, reports must have described experiments in which biomass

(dry-matter yield of shoots) was measured in mixtures of pairs of components planted simultaneously in 1 : 1 proportions, and in which monocultures of the components were grown at the same total density within the

same experiment. The numerous reports of experiments involving mixtures

of cereal varieties (see Simmonds, 1962) mostly consider only grain yield;

since the degree of correlation between grain yield and shoot weight is

uncertain, reference will be made to such reports only where a point cannot

be adequately illustrated by data on biomass. The subject of mixtures of

legumes and nonleguminous species is not considered because a special

nutrient relationship is involved in the interaction between the components;

this type of interaction seems to be already much better understood than

many of the types of interaction occurring in the mixtures to be considered

in the present work.



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