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The effects of agronomic herbaceous plants on the soil structure of gold mine tailings and the establishment of boreal forest tree seedlings

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Barrette, Dominique, Philippe, Marchand, Nguena Nguefack, Hermine Lore et Guittonny, Marie (2022). The effects of agronomic herbaceous plants on the soil structure of gold mine tailings and the establishment of boreal forest tree seedlings. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution , 233 (16). p. 1-20. doi:10.1007/s11270-021-05466-9 Repéré dans Depositum à https://depositum.uqat.ca/id/eprint/1339

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Résumé

In Canada, low-grade ore mines generate large amounts of mineral waste, such as mine tailings. To control erosion of the fine-grained tailings particles as quickly as possible, it is common practice for the mining industry to revegetate the mine tailings with agronomic herbaceous plants. However, it is unclear whether this practice is consequential to the natural establishment of boreal species. The first objective of this study was to evaluate which families of agronomic herbaceous plants (legumes or grasses) result in the most favorable physical and chemical soil properties for the establishment of boreal species. The second objective was to determine the effect of the agronomic herbaceous plants on the growth and foliar nutrient concentration on three indigenous boreal forest seedlings; jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lambert), tamarack (Larix laricina Du Roi), paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marshall), and a willow cultivar (Salix miyabeana Seemen).

In 2013, a 1-ha in situ experimental surface of mine tailings was set up on the gold mine site in Malartic, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Quebec. The experimental site was subdivided into three blocks, each further divided in 5 plots. Each plot was randomly seeded as follows: 100% grass, 100% legumes, a mixture of both, topsoil, and a control (tailings only, no seeding). In the 2015 spring season, thirty seedlings of the three boreal tree species and cuttings of the willow cultivars were planted in each treatment plot. Seedling height and root biomass were measured at the end of the 2016 growing season.

Soil sample analyses indicated significant differences for bulk density, wilting point, and organic matter content between the topsoil and the different agronomic herbaceous and control treatments; however, no significant differences were found between the different herbaceous treatments and the control for soil pH, bulk density, wilting point, macroporosity, and organic matter content. The mortality rate of jack pine, tamarack, and paper birch seedlings was higher in the control plots compared to all other treatments. Root biomass and height of the willow cultivar were significantly higher in the legumes compared with topsoil treatment. Among the four pioneer tree seedlings studied, this research indicates that the combination of the willow cultivar with the legumes treatment produces the best seedling growth and survival in the highly abiotic and stressful environments inherent to mine tailings.

Type de document: Article
Informations complémentaires: La version officielle de cette publication a été publiée dans la revue Water, Air, & Soil Pollution (2022) : https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-021-05466-9. Du matériel supplémentaire lié à l'article est également disponible.
Mots-clés libres: mine tailing reclamation, grasses, legumes, topsoil treatments, shade-intolerant seedlings, Salix
Divisions: Forêts
Mines et eaux souterraines
Date de dépôt: 29 mars 2022 16:16
Dernière modification: 29 mars 2022 16:16
URI: https://depositum.uqat.ca/id/eprint/1339

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