, Volume 223, Issue 9, pp 5877-5884,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 22 Sep 2012

Influence of Thermally Polluted Water on the Growth of Helophytes in the Vicinity of a Colliery Waste Tip

Abstract

The impact of thermal pollution of leachate from a post-coal mine heap on three macrophyte species: Phragmites australis, Typha latifolia, and Scirpus sylvaticus was examined over the entire vegetation season. Hydrological measurements showed that the temperature of the leachate was ca 50 °C at the site of leachate inflow and decreased to ca 15 °C at the end of discharge canal. The annual temperature and conductivity of leachate from the two control sites, a polluted water stream in the vicinity of the waste tip and an unpolluted stream, differ significantly. However, only the temperature explained the differences in plant traits. In April, and in some cases in May, plants in the leachate were significantly higher than in those on the control sites in terms of biomass and plant height. Thermal pollution caused a phenological shift in all species and also caused Scirpus plants to die out more quickly. Temperature also affected the proportion flowering vs. vegetative individuals, e.g., none of Scirpus plants started to bloom.