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Open AccessArticle

Aboveground and Belowground Colonization of Vegetation on a 17-Year-Old Cover with Capillary Barrier Effect Built on a Boreal Mine Tailings Storage Facility

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RIME–Research Institute on Mines and the Environment, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 675, 1re Avenue, Val-d’Or, QC J9P 1Y3, Canada
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RIME–Research Institute on Mines and the Environment, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080704
Received: 26 June 2020 / Revised: 22 July 2020 / Accepted: 6 August 2020 / Published: 8 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Reclamation and Bio-Remediation of Former Mine Sites)
Acid mine drainage is an important environmental risk linked to the surface storage of reactive mine tailings. To manage this problem, a cover with a capillary barrier effect (CCBE) can be used. This oxygen barrier cover relies on maintaining a fine-grained material layer (moisture-retaining layer, MRL) with a high degree of saturation. CCBEs can be colonized by surrounding plants. Plant roots pump water and could impact CCBE’s performance. This performance is predicted with unsaturated water flow numerical models in which vegetation parameters can be included. Vegetation parameters may be specific in a CCBE environment. Therefore, analyzing and quantifying the vegetation that colonizes this type of cover is necessary. Plant colonization was investigated through cover and density surveys on 12 transects on a 17-year-old CCBE in the mixed forest of Quebec, Canada. Then, aboveground vegetation and root colonization intensity at three depths in the MRL were characterized on 25 plots of five dominant vegetation types (Salix, Populus, Alnus, Picea sp., and herbaceous species). The mean root length density under plots dominated by Salix sp. was higher than in the other plots. Root colonization of the MRL was concentrated in the first 10 cm and occurred under all woody and herbaceous species as well. This work quantitatively describes, for the first time, the vegetation colonizing a CCBE both at the above- and belowground levels. These data will be useful to better predict the long-term performance of this engineered reclamation cover. View Full-Text
Keywords: biological monitoring; cover with capillary barrier effect; reclamation; mine tailings; acid mine drainage; oxygen barrier cover in forest environment biological monitoring; cover with capillary barrier effect; reclamation; mine tailings; acid mine drainage; oxygen barrier cover in forest environment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Proteau, A.; Guittonny, M.; Bussière, B.; Maqsoud, A. Aboveground and Belowground Colonization of Vegetation on a 17-Year-Old Cover with Capillary Barrier Effect Built on a Boreal Mine Tailings Storage Facility. Minerals 2020, 10, 704. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080704

AMA Style

Proteau A, Guittonny M, Bussière B, Maqsoud A. Aboveground and Belowground Colonization of Vegetation on a 17-Year-Old Cover with Capillary Barrier Effect Built on a Boreal Mine Tailings Storage Facility. Minerals. 2020; 10(8):704. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080704

Chicago/Turabian Style

Proteau, Alex; Guittonny, Marie; Bussière, Bruno; Maqsoud, Abdelkabir. 2020. "Aboveground and Belowground Colonization of Vegetation on a 17-Year-Old Cover with Capillary Barrier Effect Built on a Boreal Mine Tailings Storage Facility" Minerals 10, no. 8: 704. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080704

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