Article

The importance of edaphic niches and pioneer plant species succession for the phytomanagement of mine tailings

Journal ar
Environmental Pollution
  • Volumen: 176
  • Fecha: 25 February 2013
  • Páginas: 134-143
  • ISSN: 02697491 18736424
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.01.023
  • Document Type: Article
Phytomanagement in terms of phytostabilisation is considered a suitable method to decrease environmental risks of metal(loid) enriched mine tailings. The goal of this study was to identify plant-favourable edaphic niches in mine tailings from a semiarid area, in order to obtain relevant information for further phytostabilisation procedures. For this purpose, a transect-designed sampling from non-disturbed soils to two mine tailings was performed, including the description of soil and plant ecology gradients. Plant ecological indicators showed several stages in plant succession: from weeds to stable patches of late successional plant species. PCA results revealed that plant distribution at the tailings was driven mainly by salinity while metal(loid) concentrations played a minor role. The presence of soil desiccation cracks generated low salinity patches which facilitated favourable niches for plant establishment. Edaphic-patch distribution may condition phytostabilisation since ploughing or the employment of certain amendments should take into account favourable niches for plant growth. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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