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Open AccessArticle

The Need to Improve Riparian Forests Management in Uranium Mining Areas Based on Assessment of Heavy Metal and Uranium Contamination

1
Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Environmental Protection, Faculty of Chemistry, Brno University of Technology, Purkyňova 118, 612 00 Brno, Czech Republic
2
Department of Agrochemistry, Soil Science, Microbiology and Plant Nutrition, Faculty of AgriSciences, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
3
Department of Geology and Pedology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 3, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
4
BIC Brno, Technology Innovation Transfer Chamber, Purkyňova 125, 612 00 Brno, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(9), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11090952
Received: 21 July 2020 / Revised: 26 August 2020 / Accepted: 28 August 2020 / Published: 31 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Environmental contamination caused by uranium mining is becoming a worldwide issue due to its negative impact on the environment. The aim of this study is to evaluate the contamination levels of riparian forest stands and their interaction with pollutants on the example of two localities with long and short-term uranium mining closure. Notably high Cu content, which exceeded the lower range of the toxicity limit in 50–75% of the cases, was detected in the leaves. Increased U content also represents a potential risk. As both of the elements have a negative effect particularly on the root system, it can be assumed that the soil-stabilizing and water erosion-reducing functions of the stands may be reduced. Extremely high U content (51.8 mg/kg DA) in the leaves of Aesculus hippocastanum L. indicates its potential for phytoremediation. Significantly higher U content determined at the locality with the long-term closure of mining was probably caused by the instauration of the shallow hydrogeological circulation after mine inundation. Strong correlation between U and Pb suggests identical trend of their uptake and accumulation by plants. A significant dependence of the level of contamination on the distance from its source was not demonstrated. Therefore, the management of mining areas should focus on the protection of riparian forest, which can through its stabilizing and erosion-reducing functions and through suitable species composition effectively prevent spreading of contamination. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioaccumulation; riparian forest; uranium mining; Aesculus hippocastanum; phytoremediation; forest functions bioaccumulation; riparian forest; uranium mining; Aesculus hippocastanum; phytoremediation; forest functions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pecina, V.; Juřička, D.; Kynický, J.; Baltazár, T.; Komendová, R.; Brtnický, M. The Need to Improve Riparian Forests Management in Uranium Mining Areas Based on Assessment of Heavy Metal and Uranium Contamination. Forests 2020, 11, 952. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11090952

AMA Style

Pecina V, Juřička D, Kynický J, Baltazár T, Komendová R, Brtnický M. The Need to Improve Riparian Forests Management in Uranium Mining Areas Based on Assessment of Heavy Metal and Uranium Contamination. Forests. 2020; 11(9):952. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11090952

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pecina, Václav; Juřička, David; Kynický, Jindřich; Baltazár, Tivadar; Komendová, Renata; Brtnický, Martin. 2020. "The Need to Improve Riparian Forests Management in Uranium Mining Areas Based on Assessment of Heavy Metal and Uranium Contamination" Forests 11, no. 9: 952. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11090952

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