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Influence of Mining and Vegetation Restoration on Soil Properties in the Eastern Margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

1
State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730030, China
2
Third Institute Geological and Mineral Exploration of Gansu Provincial Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Lanzhou 730030, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4288; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124288
Received: 1 May 2020 / Revised: 6 June 2020 / Accepted: 11 June 2020 / Published: 16 June 2020
Mining causes serious destruction of the surface morphology and soil structure of lands, and vegetation restoration on post-mining lands provides an effective way for soil and water conservation. To determine the influence of mining and vegetation restoration on soil properties in the eastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, four land sites, including two vegetation restoration sites (restorated by Elymus nutans and Picea crassifolia, respectively), one non-vegetated mining site and one native grassland site, were selected. Fifty-two topsoil (0–10) samples were collected from these four sites, and then soil properties, trace metals and soil enzyme activities were analyzed. The results showed that there was an increase in soil pH (>8.0) after mining, while vegetation restoration decreased the soil pH compared with native grassland; the soil organic matter and total nitrogen in the site restored with E. nutans increased by 48.8% and 25.17%, respectively, compared with the site restored with P. crassifolia. The soil enzyme activities decreased after mining, and there were no significant increases in urease, phosphatase, β-glucosidase and β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase activities after five years of restoration. In addition, the contents of soil trace metals (cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead and zinc) after mining were lower than the Chinese threshold (GB 15618/2018), but the content of arsenic in non-vegetated soil and P. crassifolia-restored soil exceeded the threshold by 22.61 times and 22.86 times, respectively. Therefore, As-contaminated land areas should be accurately determined and treated in a timely way to prevent arsenic from spreading, and plant species with tolerance to alkaline soil should be selected for vegetation restoration on post-mining lands. View Full-Text
Keywords: Qinghai-Tibet plateau; mine restoration; soil nutrients; soil enzyme activity; trace metals Qinghai-Tibet plateau; mine restoration; soil nutrients; soil enzyme activity; trace metals
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hu, Y.; Yu, Z.; Fang, X.; Zhang, W.; Liu, J.; Zhao, F. Influence of Mining and Vegetation Restoration on Soil Properties in the Eastern Margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4288. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124288

AMA Style

Hu Y, Yu Z, Fang X, Zhang W, Liu J, Zhao F. Influence of Mining and Vegetation Restoration on Soil Properties in the Eastern Margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(12):4288. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124288

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hu, Yunlong, Zhifeng Yu, Xiangling Fang, Weixiong Zhang, Jinrong Liu, and Feng Zhao. 2020. "Influence of Mining and Vegetation Restoration on Soil Properties in the Eastern Margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 12: 4288. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124288

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