Special Issue "Ecological Remediation of Degraded and Contaminated Land"
A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2015) | Viewed by 3271
Half a century ago, in 1962, a catastrophic collapse of a colliery spoil tip in the Welsh village of Aberfan, buried alive 144 people, mostly school children, beneath slurry. Ecologists in Britain began to play an increasing role alongside engineers to improve the safety and quality of industrial landscapes. At that time, establishing a vegetation cover was something of a new challenge for ecologists. A landmark text on the topic (A.D. Bradshaw A.D and M.J. Chadwick, 1980, The Restoration of Land: The Ecology and Reclamation of Derelict and Degraded Land, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford) described the fundamental environmental requirements to restore a green and pleasant land: stable, structured soils with the physical and chemical necessities to support plants and animals. In this context, the book remains as useful and valid today as the year in which it was published. The authors can take credit for being the pioneers of “really applied ecology” (to quote the late Tony Bradshaw), largely working out how to restore degraded and polluted land to productive agriculture and forestry. Their work is still valuable, but the challenges are now different.
The science of restoration of degraded and contaminated land has moved on in leaps and bounds during the ensuing 50 years, creating giant leaps of knowledge and fresh excitement amongst soil and plant scientists, chemists, biologists and ecologists. These days we understand these subjects better through their application to the Ecological Remediation of Degraded and Contaminated Land. A tidal wave of topics including heavy metal toxicity, bioavailability, risk assessment, metal tolerance, urban soils, phytoremediation, biodiversity and ecological restoration have been pivotal to a generation of scientists, providing new conference circuits, multitudes of experimental laboratory, glasshouse and field studies and considerable amounts of research funding and publication.
Our research topic now faces a new paradigm. The new challenges are to produce clean and safe food, to support primary industries; protecting the environment, biodiversity, our livelihoods and wellbeing. We have the technology. This special edition aims to reflect the excitement of our science and the validity of its application in the real world. Selected authors, well respected in their fields and recognized as the most outstanding communicators, were asked individually to share the stories of the most challenging and exciting of their current projects. Their enthusiasm was palpable and they have responded magnificently to the request. The diversity of their responses published here provides a window into the wide range of new opportunities in the Ecological Remediation of Degraded and Contaminated Land. Undoubtedly the readership will leverage the benefits of this knowledge.
Prof. Nicholas Dickinson
Manuscript Submission Information
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- ecological restoration
- environmental technologies
- pollution mitigation
- ecosystem rehabilitation