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Forests 2016, 7(2), 40; doi:10.3390/f7020040

Investigating Potential Toxicity of Leachate from Wood Chip Piles Generated by Roadside Biomass Operations

1
British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations, Forest Science, 4th floor. 499 George Street, Prince George, BC V2L 1R5, Canada
2
Natural Resources and Environmental Technology, College of New Caledonia, 22 Avenue, Prince George, BC V2N 1P8, Canada
3
British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations, Water Stewardship Division, 5th flr. 499 George Street, Prince George, BC V2L 1R5, Canada
4
British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Ecosystems Protection and Sustainability Branch, 4300 North Road, Victoria, B.C. V8Z 5J3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 November 2015 / Revised: 26 January 2016 / Accepted: 1 February 2016 / Published: 9 February 2016
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Abstract

Roadside processing of wood biomass leaves chip piles of varying size depending upon whether they were created for temporary storage, spillage, or equipment maintenance. Wood chips left in these piles can generate leachate that contaminates streams when processing sites are connected to waterways. Leachate toxicity and chemistry were assessed for pure aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl.), hybrid white spruce (Picea engelmannii x glauca Parry), and black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) Britton) as well as from two wood chipping sites using mixes of lodgepole pine and hybrid or black spruce. Leachate was generated using rainfall simulation, a static 28-day laboratory assay, and a field-based exposure. Leachate generated by these exposures was analyzed for organic matter content, phenols, ammonia, pH, and toxicity. Findings indicate that all wood chip types produced a toxic leachate despite differences in their chemistry. The consistent toxicity response highlights the need for runoff management that will disconnect processing sites from aquatic environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: Biomass Leachate; Aquatic Toxicity: MicrotoxTM; Chemical Oxygen Demand; Resin Acids; Rainfall Simulation Biomass Leachate; Aquatic Toxicity: MicrotoxTM; Chemical Oxygen Demand; Resin Acids; Rainfall Simulation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rex, J.; Dubé, S.; Krauskopf, P.; Berch, S. Investigating Potential Toxicity of Leachate from Wood Chip Piles Generated by Roadside Biomass Operations. Forests 2016, 7, 40.

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