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Seed bank of Cu-contaminated topsoils at a wood preservation site: impacts of copper and compost on seed germination

submitted by honsonjei 2 years and 1 month ago
Is identification of seed bank (SB) species useful for sustainable management of vegetation restoration on Cu-contaminated soils? How does Cu contamination of the soil affect the SB and can incorporating compost into Cu-contaminated soils counter the effects of Cu? The topsoil SB was investigated at seven contaminated sub-sites of a wood preservation site. The germination parameters of the seeds were recorded using three substrates: a washed river sand (Sand), the same sand spiked with CuSO4 to reach the same Cu concentrations as in the soil pore water (.3 to 3.2 mg Cu/L) (Cu), and the same Cu-spiked sand amended with compost (CPM). The total number of germinated seeds (NGS) was 1,8The whole seedling dataset enabled 12 plant species and eight families to be identified in the SB. Species richness and Shannon indexes were low. The addition of Cu in the germination substrate enhanced total NGS at one sub-site and the addition of CPM increased plant diversity at three sub-sites. SB composition varied with the sub-site but did not correlate with total soil Cu or with the Cu concentration in the soil pore water. Three species belonging to the Poaceae family dominated. In terms of total NGS, the dominant species were Portulaca oleracea and Agrostis capillaris. Similarities between SB and established vegetation were low but increased when the soil bulk density was reduced. The Cu-tolerant species P. oleracea and A. capillaris dominated in both the SB and the established vegetation. However, the pattern of SB and established vegetation differed and consequently SB was not a sufficient indicator to predict the future vegetation.


Topic: Environment

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