Microbial Dynamics and Fertility Characteristics in Compost from Different Waste and Maturation Processes

A. Abrila, *, L. Noea, M.F. Filippinib, M. Conyc, L. Martinezd
a Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Cc 509, 5000, Córdoba, Argentina
b Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias. Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Chacras de Coria, 5505, Mendoza, Argentina
c IADIZA CCT - CONICET Mendoza, Parque General San Martín, 5500, Mendoza, Argentina
d INTA EEA Mendoza, Luján de Cuyo, 5507, Mendoza, Argentina

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© 2011 Abril et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Cc 509, 5000, Córdoba, Argentina; Tel/Fax: 54 351 4334105/03; E-mail:


We evaluated the abundance of microbial functional groups involved in compost fertility, and the chemical parameters of maturity and quality most commonly analyzed in compost products. We employed compost produced using the same hydrolytic stage and two maturation processes (with and without earthworms) and with different organic wastes. Our aim was to propose a valid tool for measuring the quality standards of compost fertility from a microbial perspective. The products obtained from both maturation processes were highly variable in their chemical and biological composition (without following a general pattern). Because the results are so heterogeneous, proposing a microbial population as universal indicator of the degree of compost fertility is very difficult. However, the microbial community structure might be used as a maturity index, because the products that best fulfilled the chemical stability parameters were those with lowest number of populations in its community.

Keywords: Microbial community structure, vermicompost, humification indices, stability/maturation parameters, manures.