Revegetation of the As contaminated, acidic mine spoil of Jales using a combination of spoil amendments and tolerant grasses.

P.M. Bleeker, A.G.L. Assunção, P.M. Teiga, T. de Koe, J.A.C. Verkley

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    A combination of metal immobilising agents and metal tolerant plants has been utilised in order to reduce the environmental impact of the acidic metal contaminated Jales mine spoil tips. The addition of Beringite (a modified aluminosilicate), steel shots (iron bearing material) and organic matter as spoil amendments resulted in changes in arsenate (As) concentrations and pH of spoil material and improved plant growth. The application of Beringite increased both pH and plant available As concentrations. A 4-year follow up of the spoil analysis demonstrated that the effect of the spoil treatments was stable following treatments, however, the effectiveness did not increase any more after 2 years. The use of metal tolerant grasses in combination with spoil treatments resulted in a rapid and effective revegetation of the As contaminated Jales mine spoils. Colonisation and reproduction of Agrostis castellana and Holcus lanatus was most successful when the substrate contained a combination of all three additives. Plant performances could be enhanced by supplementation of a phosphate fertiliser. The rapid reproduction of the two grass species makes them very suitable for revegetation purposes. Agrostis castellana and Holcus lanatus apparently exhibited a level of metal- and As-tolerance sufficient for survival on untreated spoil, but in the first stages of revegetation the use of spoil amendments was found to be essential. Organic matter in combination with Beringite and/or steel shots resulted in decreased As in the aboveground biomass, protecting possible grazers and predators from undesirable levels of As. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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