The dependence of summer barley growing and development on the concentration of naphthalene in soil

  • Karolina Barčauskaitė
  • Romas Mažeika
Keywords: green waste compost, spring barley, naphthalene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)


Naphthalene is polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) containing only carbon and hydrogen that are composed of multiple aromatic rings. The simplest PAH, naphthalene, consists of two condensed benzene rings and shows the highest solubility in water. Due to this naphthalene could have a negative effect on plant germination and development. The aim of this thesis is to determine the effect of naphthalene on spring barley germination and the amount of green mass in early stages of growing. Moreover, to evaluate the effect of naphthalene on the spring barley amount and yield when growing for the full vegetation period. Persistent organic pollutants are absorbed from atmosphere or soil by plants. Compost was chosen for this research with a different amount of naphthalene inserted in it. During the research, there were two experiments done: one phytotoxicity experiment with a duration of 28 days and another vegetation experiment for the full vegetation period until the whole yield growing. During the phytotoxicity experiment, 5 days after sowing, decreasing of the germination of spring barley was determined. The germination decreased from 13 to 72% in comparison to the control variant. On the 10th day after sowing, the germination of spring barley was 12% lower in the variant of the experiment where the concentration of naphthalene was highest. When spring barley was growing for the full vegetation period, a significant decreasing amount of straw and an average mass of 1 000 grains were determined in both years.