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International Journal of Environment Science and Technology
Center for Environment and Energy Research and Studies (CEERS)
ISSN: 1735-1472
EISSN: 1735-2630
Vol. 12, No. 6, 2015, pp. 1811-1824
Bioline Code: st15169
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

International Journal of Environment Science and Technology, Vol. 12, No. 6, 2015, pp. 1811-1824

 en Plant colonization of brownfield soil and post-washing sludge: effect of organic amendment and environmental conditions
Adamo, P.; Mingo, A.; Coppola, I.; Motti, R.; Stinca, A. & Agrelli, D.


This paper analyses the effects of substrate properties and environmental conditions on spontaneous vegetation of soil and sludges from a dismantled steel plant moderately polluted by heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Plant colonization was monitored in the presence or absence of acidic peat for 5 years both inside the degraded brownfield site and after transferral into a nearby Oak Park environment. Overall, 57 plant species grew healthily on the substrates, with peat enhancing plant growth in the unfavourable brownfield site. Most of the species were found in the park (91 %), showing plant colonization was mainly affected by the immediate environment rather than by substrate properties. Restricted metal uptake and tissue accumulation by selected plants were measured, with only Daucus carota check for this species in other resources showing a higher ability to translocate metals to shoots (shoot/root metal concentration quotient >1 with peat). Phytostabilization with native plants represents an economically more realistic and cost-effective option than excavation, soil washing and sludge disposal, especially for vast industrial sites. Addition of organic matter and planting strategically selected vegetation islands could facilitate the spontaneous recovery of such highly degraded environments.

Phytoremediation; Heavy metals; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; Vascular flora; Peat

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