The potential use of Piptatherum miliaceum for the phytomanagement of mine tailings in semiarid areas: Role of soil fertility and plant competition

  • Isabel Parraga-Aguado /
  • María Nazaret González-Alcaraz /
  • Rainer Schulin /
  • Héctor M. Conesa
Journal ar
Journal of Environmental Management
  • Volumen: 158
  • Fecha: 01 August 2015
  • Páginas: 74-84
  • ISSN: 10958630 03014797
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2015.04.041
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: Academic Press
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.Phytomanagement in terms of phytostabilisation has been proposed as a suitable technique to decrease the environmental risks of metal(loid) enriched mine tailings. Nevertheless, at these sites some issues must be solved to assure the long-term establishment of vegetation (e.g. salinity, low fertility, metal(loid) phytotoxicity, etc.) The objective of this study was to assess the effects of the addition of a municipal solid waste on a mine tailings soil and on the growth and metal(loid) accumulation of a grass plant species (Piptatherum miliaceum). In addition, the effects of intra-specific interactions were evaluated. A pot experiment was performed during 8 months, including two soil treatments: the mine soil and its combination with municipal solid wastes. For each treatment, pots without plants, pots with one plant, and pots with two plants were arranged. The addition of municipal solid wastes improved the soil fertility and plant growth in the mine soil, but also increased the mobile fractions of Zn, Pb, Cd, Mn and Ni. Plants in the amended treatments showed better nutritional status (higher P and K). Stable isotope ¿<sup>15</sup>N was associated to the better nutritional status, while ¿<sup>13</sup>C and ¿<sup>18</sup>O indicated higher photosynthetic efficiency and stomatal conductance in amended treatments. Although the accumulation in leaves of most metal(loid)s decreased with the municipal waste application, the concentrations in both treatments did not exceed toxic limits for fodder. There was an effect of intra-specific competition in plant growth, probably due to lack of nutrients in the mining soil or limited pots volume in the treatments with municipal waste.

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