Planting woody crops on dredged contaminated sediment provides both positive and negative effects in terms of remediation

William Hartley, Philip Riby, Nicholas M. Dickinson, Brian Shutes, Shaun Sparke, Miklas Scholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is currently a requirement for studies focusing on the long-term sustainability of phytoremediation technologies. Trace element uptake by Salix, Populus and Alnus species planted in dredged contaminated canal sediment and concentrations in sediment and pore waters were investigated, eight years after a phytoremediation trial was initiated in NW England. Soil biological activity was also measured using invertebrate and microbial assays to determine soil quality improvements. Zinc was the dominant trace metal in foliage and woody stems, and the most mobile trace element in sediment pore water (∼14 mg l -1). Biological activity had improved; earthworm numbers had increased from 5 to 24, and the QBS index (an index of microarthropod groups in soil) had increased from 70 to 88. It is concluded that biological conditions had improved and natural processes appear to be enhancing soil quality, but there remains a potential risk of trace element transfer to the wider environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3416-3424
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume159
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biological activity
  • Metal(loid)s
  • Phytoremediation
  • Woody crops

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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