Mining activities have left a legacy of metals containing tailings impoundments. After mine closure, reclamation of mine wastes can be achieved by restoration of a vegetation cover. This study investigated the impact of biochar (BC), biosolids (BS), humic substances (HS), and mycorrhizal
fungi (MF) for improving mine tailings fertility and hydraulic properties, supporting plant establishment, tailings revegetation, and enabling growth of energy crops. We conducted a pot trial by growing willow, poplar, and miscanthus in Pb/Zn/Cu mine tailings untreated or amended with two
rates of amendments (low or high input). Biosolids resulted in the most significant changes in tailings properties, neutralizing pH and increasing organic carbon, nutrient concentrations, cation exchange capacity, water retention, and saturated hydraulic conductivity. The greatest increase
in energy crops production was also observed in BS treatments enabling the financial viability of mine reclamation. Although BC resulted in significant improvements in tailings fertility and hydraulic properties, its impact on biomass was less pronounced, most likely due to lower N and P available
concentrations. Increases in willow and miscanthus biomass were observed in HS and MF treatments in spite of their lower nutrient content. A pot experiment is underway to assess synergistic effects of combining BS with BC, HS, or MF.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
Document Type: Research Article
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO, USA;
Department of Biology, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO, USA
Publication date: April 16, 2019