Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 19, pp 11293–11304 | Cite as

Phytoremediating a copper mine soil with Brassica juncea L., compost and biochar

  • Alfonso Rodríguez-VilaEmail author
  • Emma F. Covelo
  • Rubén Forján
  • Verónica Asensio
Research Article


The soils at a depleted copper mine in Touro (Galicia, Spain) are chemically degraded. In order to determine the effect of amendments and vegetation on the chemical characteristics of a mine soil and on the plant uptake of metals, a greenhouse experiment was carried out for 3 months. A settling pond soil was amended with different percentages of a compost and biochar mixture and vegetated with Brassica juncea L. The results showed that the untreated settling pond soil was polluted by Cu. Amendments and planting mustards decreased the pseudototal concentration of this metal, reduced the extreme soil acidity and increased the soil concentrations of C and TN. Both treatments also decreased the CaCl2-extractable Co, Cu and Ni concentrations. However, the amendments increased the pseudototal concentration of Zn in the soil, provided by the compost that was used. The results also showed that mustards extracted Ni efficiently from soils, suggesting that B. juncea L. is a good phytoextractor of Ni in mine soils.


Settling pond Phytoremediation Metals Compost Biochar Brassica juncea 



This study was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science through project CGL2009-07843 and by the University of Vigo through a pre-doctoral fellowship awarded to V. Asensio.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfonso Rodríguez-Vila
    • 1
    Email author
  • Emma F. Covelo
    • 1
  • Rubén Forján
    • 1
  • Verónica Asensio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Biology and Soil Science, Faculty of BiologyUniversity of VigoVigoSpain

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