IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Three years of phytostabilisation experiment of bare acidic soil extremely contaminated by copper smelting using plant biodiversity of metal-rich soils in tropical Africa (Katanga, DR Congo)

Listed author(s):
  • Mylor Ngoy M.N. Shutcha
  • Michel-Pierre Faucon
  • Ckeface C. Kamengwa Kissi
  • Gilles Colinet
  • Grégory Mahy
  • Michel Ngongo Luhembwe
  • Marjolein Visser
  • Pierre Jacques Meerts
Registered author(s):

    Copper smelting has created large surfaces of bare soil contaminated by trace metals (TMs: e.g. total Cu: 42,500mgkg -1 in bare soil vs. 220mgkg -1 in remote forest) in the Lubumbashi suburbs of the 'Cité Gécamines/Penga Penga' (Katanga, D.R. Congo). Human exposure to trace metals at the site has become a primary environmental concern. This study evaluated different strategies (spontaneous and assisted phytostabilisation) to promote plant establishment on bare soil at the contamination site for soil reclamation/remediation. First, soil chemical properties were assessed in three vegetation units (bare soil, metallophytic grassland patches, and termite mounds). Results showed lower nutrients, organic matter content, and pH in bare soil; however increased metal concentrations were not detected. Limestone (0, 2.5, 5, and 10tha -1 ) and compost (0, 45, and 225tha -1 ) were applied in a factorial design. Plant establishment was monitored for three years; and leaf TM concentration was assessed during the third year. Soil amendments improved bare soil conditions (higher pH and nutrients and lower TMs), and facilitated spontaneous plant establishment, with compost exhibiting the largest positive effects. Colonisers were primarily annual species; either true metallophytes or weedy taxa, which were sporadically present at the study site. However, only the perennial Microchloa altera survived during the 6-month dry season. Following three years of phytostabilisation experiment with M. altera by planting, substantial growth and high survival was observed in M. altera. A combination of soil amendments (lime and compost) was most effective to improve plant fecundity, and reduce metal uptake by leaves. Our results show promise for reclamation of bare soil contaminated by the mining industry in tropical climate.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: Elsevier_188982
    Download Restriction: only accessible to specific communities

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/205355.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 2015
    Publication status: Published in: Ecological engineering (2015) v.82,p.81-90
    Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/205355
    Note: SCOPUS: ar.j
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    CP135, 50, avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles

    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/205355. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Benoit Pauwels)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.