Next Article in Journal
Sustainable Urban Development? Exploring the Locational Attributes of LEED-ND Projects in the United States through a GIS Analysis of Light Intensity and Land Use
Previous Article in Journal
Sustainability Management with the Sustainability Balanced Scorecard in SMEs: Findings from an Austrian Case Study
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 546; doi:10.3390/su8060546

The Impact of the Quality of Coal Mine Stockpile Soils on Sustainable Vegetation Growth and Productivity

1
Department of Plant Production, Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering , University of Limpopo, Sovenga 0727, South Africa
2
Agricultural Research Council, Institute for Soil Climate Water, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
3
Natural Resource and Environment, Earth Observation Group, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 10 April 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 11 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [620 KB, uploaded 11 June 2016]   |  

Abstract

Stockpiled soils are excavated from the ground during mining activities, and piled on the surface of the soil for rehabilitation purposes. These soils are often characterized by low organic matter (SOM) content, low fertility, and poor physical, chemical, and biological properties, limiting their capability for sustainable vegetation growth. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of stockpile soils of differing depth and quality on vegetation growth and productivity. Soils were collected at three different depths (surface, mid, and deep) as well as mixed (equal proportion of surface, mid and deep) from two stockpiles (named Stockpile 1: aged 10 and Stockpile 2: 20 years) at the coal mine near Witbank in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. Soils were amended with different organic and inorganic fertilizer. A 2 × 4 × 5 factorial experiment in a completely randomized blocked design with four replications was established under greenhouse conditions. A grass species (Digiteria eriantha) was planted in the pots with unamended and amended soils under greenhouse conditions at 26–28 °C during the day and 16.5–18.5 °C at night. Mean values of plant height, plant cover, total fresh biomass (roots, stems and leaves), and total dry biomass were found to be higher in Stockpile 1 than in Stockpile 2 soils. Plants grown on soils with no amendments had lower mean values for major plant parameters studied. Soil amended with poultry manure and lime was found to have higher growth rate compared with soils with other soil amendments. Mixed soils had better vegetation growth than soil from other depths. Stockpiled soils in the study area cannot support vegetation growth without being amended, as evidenced by low grass growth and productivity in this study. View Full-Text
Keywords: coal mine; stockpile soils; plant parameters coal mine; stockpile soils; plant parameters
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).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Mushia, N.M.; Ramoelo, A.; Ayisi, K.K. The Impact of the Quality of Coal Mine Stockpile Soils on Sustainable Vegetation Growth and Productivity. Sustainability 2016, 8, 546.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top