Dynamics of metal tolerant plant communities' development in mine tailings from the Cartagena-La Unión Mining District (SE Spain) and their interest for further revegetation purposes.Chemosphere. 2007 Jun; 68(6):1180-5.C
Mine tailings are typical elements in post-mining landscapes which usually have high heavy metal contents and are affected by intensive erosion processes, above all in arid and semiarid areas. Revegetation of these sites is considered a low cost and suitable technology to effect surface stabilization. Spontaneous plant communities that colonize tailings in Southern Spain showed different behavior depending on the pH: in neutral tailings the plant communities were formed by less number of plant species than in acid tailings but they had less seasonal variations, showing a stable development. This spontaneous vegetation, that is adapted to metal toxicity and to drought, allows reducing air borne and water erosion, and may mitigate the spread of the contamination to the nearby areas.