Efficacy of lime, biosolids, and mycorrhiza for the phytostabilization of sulfidic copper tailings in Chile: a greenhouse experiment.Int J Phytoremediation. 2011 Feb; 13(2):107-25.IJ
Inadequate abandonment of copper mine tailings under semiarid Mediterranean climate type conditions has posed important environmental risks in Chile due to wind and rain erosion. There are cost-effective technologies for tailings stabilization such as phytostabilization. However, this technology has not been used in Chile yet. This study evaluated in a greenhouse assay the efficacy of biosolids, lime, and a commercial mycorrhiza to improve adverse conditions of oxidized Cu mine tailings for adequate establishment and grow of Lolium perenne L. var nui. Chemical characterization of experimental substrates and pore water samples were performed; plant density, biomass production, chlorophyll content, and metal content in shoots was evaluated in rye grass plants after an eight-week growth period. Results showed that neutralization of tailings and superficial application of biosolids increased both aerial biomass production and chlorophyll content of rye grass. Increased Cu solubilization and translocation to shoots occurred after biosolids application (mixed), particularly on unlimed tailings, due to formation of soluble organometallic complexes with dissolved organic carbon (DOC) which can be readily absorbed by plant roots. Positive effects of mycorrhizal inoculation on rye grass growth were restricted to treatments with superficial application of biosolids, probably due to Cu toxicity effects on commercial mycorrhiza used (Glomulus intraradices).