Influence of Compost and Chemical Fertilizer on Multi-Metal Contaminated Mine Tailings Phytostabilization by Atriplex nummularia
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Georesources and Environment Laboratory, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Hassan II Agronomy and Veterinary Institute, Rabat, Morocco
Laboratory of Geosciences, Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, Ibn Tofail University, Av. de L'Université, Kenitra, Morocco
Research Unit on Environment and Conservation of Natural Resources, National Institute for Agricultural Research, Rabat, Morocco
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, North-Africa Platform, BP. 6443, Rabat Institutes, Av. Al Irfan, 10100, Morocco
Corresponding author
Malika Laghrour   

International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas. Rabat Institutes, Av. Al Irfan, 10100, Morocco
Ecol. Eng. Environ. Technol. 2022; 6:204-215
Heavy metals in mine tailings induce severe environmental contamination of terrestrial ecosystems. They are hazardous to human health and must be cleaned up. However, ex-situ procedures are costly and soil-destroying. Phytoremediation approaches might be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option. Phytostabilization of mine tailings, which employs plants, is a commonly used technique for preventing the spread of contaminants and particles from the site. Nutrient-deficient mine tailings must be amended to increase plant growth and phytoremediation performance. This study aims to investigate the tolerance of Atriplex nummularia to high heavy metal levels (Pb, Zn, and Cu) and the effects of compost and chemical fertilizer on biomass generation and heavy metal uptake. Halophyte species have been commonly employed for the phytoremediation of soil polluted with heavy metals. A pot experiment was undertaken with four treatments: T1 (agricultural soil), T2 (mine tailings), T3 (mine tailings mixed with compost), and T4 (mine tailings with chemical fertilizer). Results showed that both amendments demonstrated a significant beneficial effect on growth and biomass production. For all treatments, metals mostly accumulated in the roots, with only a small amount transferred to the shoots. Compost application resulted in a higher Pb concentration in roots than chemical fertilizer. The results of this study suggest that Atriplex nummularia can be used in phytostabilization for these types of mine tailings. However, long-term field data is needed to improve understanding of the Atriplex nummularia tolerance to high concentrations of heavy metals, as well as their uptake and translocation to aerial components.
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