Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 14, pp 13653–13660 | Cite as

In search for a compromise between biodiversity conservation and human health protection in restoration of fly ash deposits: effect of anti-dust treatments on five groups of arthropods

  • Robert Tropek
  • Ilona Cerna
  • Jakub Straka
  • Petr Kocarek
  • Igor Malenovsky
  • Filip Tichanek
  • Pavel Sebek
How can we restore the biodiversity and ecosystem services in mining and industrial sites?


Recently, fly ash deposits have been revealed as a secondary refuge of critically endangered arthropods specialised on aeolian sands in Central Europe. Simultaneously, these anthropogenic habitats are well known for their negative impact on human health and the surrounding environment. The overwhelming majority of these risks are caused by wind erosion, the substantial decreasing of which is thus necessary. But, any effects of anti-dust treatments on endangered arthropods have never been studied. We surveyed communities of five arthropod groups (wild bees and wasps, leafhoppers, spiders, hoverflies and orthopteroid insects) colonising three fly ash deposits in the western Czech Republic. We focused on two different anti-dust treatments (~70 and 100 % cover of fly ash by barren soil) and their comparison with a control of bare fly ash. Altogether, we recorded 495 species, including 132 nationally threatened species (eight of them were considered to be extinct in the country) and/or 30 species strictly specialised to drift sands. Bees and wasps and leafhoppers contained the overwhelming majority of species of the highest conservation interest; a few other important records were also in spiders and orthopteroids. Total soil cover depleted the unique environment of fly ash and thus destroyed the high conservation potential of the deposits. On the other hand, partial coverage (with ~30 % of bare fly ash) still offered habitats for many of the most threatened species, as we showed by both regression and multivariate analyses, with a decrease of wind erosion. This topic still needs much more research interest, but we consider mosaic-like preservation of smaller spots of fly ash as one of the possible compromises between biodiversity and human health.


Aculeata Araneae Auchenorrhyncha Coal combustion Human-made habitats Restoration ecology Orthoptera Syrphidae 



We would like to thank Z. Musilova, D. Mach and A. Tropek for their help in our fieldwork, and M. Sweney for proofreading our English. The study was funded by the Czech Science Foundation (P504/12/2525) and the University of South Bohemia (GAJU 160/2010/P and 168/2013/P).

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2015_4382_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (54 kb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 54 kb)


  1. Adriano DC, Weber J, Bolan NS, Paramasivam S, Koo BJ, Sajwan KS (2002) Effects of high rates of coal fly ash on soil, turfgrass, and groundwater quality. Water Air Soil Pollut 139:365–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Benes J, Kepka P, Konvicka M (2003) Limestone quarries as refuges for European xerophilous butterflies. Conserv Biol 17:1058–1069Google Scholar
  3. Bogusch P, Straka J, Macek J, Dvorak L, Veprek D, Riha M (2011) Faunistic records from the Czech Republic—310. Hymenoptera: Apocrita. Klapalekiana 47:91–99Google Scholar
  4. Borm PJA (1997) Toxicity and occupational health hazards of coal fly ash (CFA). A review of data and comparison to coal mine dust. Ann Occup Hyg 6:659–676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Haynes RJ (2009) Reclamation and revegetation of fly ash disposal sites—challenges and research needs. J Environ Manag 90:43–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Heneberg P, Bogusch P (2014) To enrich or not to enrich? Are there any benefits of using multiple colors of pan traps when sampling aculeate Hymenoptera? J Insect Conserv 18:1123–1136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Heneberg P, Rezac M (2014) Dry sandpits and gravel–sandpits serve as key refuges for endangered epigeic spiders (Araneae) and harvestmen (Opiliones) of Central European steppes aeolian sands. Ecol Eng 73:659–670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Heneberg P, Bogusch P, Rehounek J (2013) Sandpits provide critical refuge for bees and wasps (Hymenoptera: Apocrita). J Insect Conserv 17:473–490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Heneberg P, Bogusch P, Astapenkova A (2014) Reed galls serve as an underestimated but critically important resource for an assemblage of aculeate hymenopterans. Biol Conserv 172:146–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hodacova D, Prach K (2003) Spoil heaps from brown coal mining: technical reclamation versus spontaneous revegetation. Restor Ecol 11:385–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kovar P (ed) (2004) Natural recovery of human-made deposits in landscape: biotic interactions and ore/ash-slag artificial ecosystems. Academia, PragueGoogle Scholar
  12. Krauss J, Alfert T, Steffan-Dewenter I (2009) Habitat area but not habitat age determines wild bee richness in limestone quarries. J Appl Ecol 46:194–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Malenovsky I (2013) New records of Auchenorrhyncha (Hemiptera) for the Czech Republic. Acta Mus Moraviae, Sci Biol 98(2):235–263Google Scholar
  14. Mudrak O, Frouz J, Velichova V (2010) Understory vegetation in reclaimed and unreclaimed post-mining forest stands. Ecol Eng 36:783–790CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Pandey VC, Singh B (2012) Rehabilitation of coal fly ash basins: current need to use ecological engineering. Ecol Eng 49:190–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pandey VC, Abhilash PC, Singh B (2009) The Indian perspective of utilizing fly ash in phytoremediation, phytomanagement and biomass production. J Environ Manag 90:2943–2958CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Podgaiski LR, Rodrigues GG (2010) Leaf-litter decomposition of pioneer plants and detritivore macrofaunal assemblages on coal ash disposals in southern Brazil. Eur J Soil Biol 46:394–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Prach K, Hobbs RJ (2008) Spontaneous succession versus technical reclamation in the restoration of disturbed sites. Restor Ecol 16:363–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Quitt E (1971) Klimaticke Oblasti Ceskoslovenska. Academia, PragueGoogle Scholar
  20. R Development Core Team (2014) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Vienna, Austria.
  21. Salek M (2012) Spontaneous succession on opencast mining sites: implications for bird biodiversity. J Appl Ecol 49:1417–1425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Shaw P (1992) A preliminary study of successional changes in vegetation and soil development on unamended fly-ash (PFA) in Southern England. J Appl Ecol 29:728–736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Shaw P (2003) Collembola of pulverised fuel ash sites in east London. Eur J Soil Biol 39:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Shaw P (2009) Soil and fertilizer amendments and edge effects on the floral succession of pulverized fuel ash. Restor Ecol 17:68–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Silva LF, Boit KM (2011) Nanominerals and nanoparticles in feed coal and bottom ash: implications for human health effects. Environ Monit Assess 174:187–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Smith KR, Veranth JM, Kodavanti P, Aust AE, Pinkerton KE (2006) Acute pulmonary and systemic effects of inhaled coal fly ash in rats: comparison to ambient environmental particles. Toxicol Sci 93:390–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Srba M, Heneberg P (2012) Nesting habitat segregation between closely related terricolous sphecid species (Hymenoptera: Spheciformes): key role of soil physical characteristics. J Insect Conserv 16:557–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Straka J, Bogusch P, Pridal A (2007) Apoidea: Apiformes, p. 241-299. In: Bogusch P, Straka J, Kment P (eds.) Annotated checklist of the Aculeata (Hymenoptera) of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Acta Entomol Mus Natl Pragae 2007, Suppl 11Google Scholar
  29. ter Braak CJF, Smilauer P (2002) CANOCO reference manual and Cano Draw for Windows user’s guide: software for canonical community ordination (version 4.5). Microcomputer Power, IthacaGoogle Scholar
  30. Tropek R, Kocarek P (2013) Faunistic records from the Czech Republic—354. Orthoptera: Gryllidae. Klapalekiana 49:226Google Scholar
  31. Tropek R, Kadlec T, Karesova P, Spitzer L, Kocarek P, Malenovsky I, Banar P, Tuf IH, Hejda M, Konvicka M (2010) Spontaneous succession in limestone quarries as an effective restoration tool for endangered arthropods and plants. J Appl Ecol 47:139–147Google Scholar
  32. Tropek R, Kadlec T, Hejda M, Kocarek P, Skuhrovec J, Malenovsky I, Vodka S, Spitzer L, Banar P, Konvicka M (2012) Technical reclamations are wasting the conservation potential of post-mining sites. A case study of black coal spoil dumps. Ecol Eng 43:13–18Google Scholar
  33. Tropek R, Cerna I, Straka J, Cizek O, Konvicka M (2013a) Is coal combustion the last chance for vanishing insects of inland drift sand dunes in Europe? Biol Conserv 162:60–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tropek R, Hejda M, Kadlec T, Spitzer L (2013b) Local and landscape factors affecting communities of plants and diurnal Lepidoptera in black coal spoil heaps: implications for restoration management. Ecol Eng 57:252–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tropek R, Cerna I, Straka J, Kadlec T, Pech P, Tichanek F, Sebek P (2014) Restoration management of fly ash deposits crucially influence their conservation potential for terrestrial arthropods. Ecol Eng 73:45–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Vankova J, Kovar P (2004) Plant species diversity in the biotopes of un-reclaimed industrial deposits as artificial islands in landscape. In: Kovar P (ed) Natural recovery of human-made deposits in landscape: biotic interactions and ore/ash-slag artificial ecosystems. Academia, Praha, pp 30–45Google Scholar
  37. Venables WN, Ripley BD (2002) Modern Applied Statistics with S, 4th edn. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wells JR, Brieger G, Hunter RD (1991) The revegetation potential of selected Michigan native and naturalised plant species on fly ash deposits. Mich Bot 30:49–58Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Tropek
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ilona Cerna
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jakub Straka
    • 2
  • Petr Kocarek
    • 4
  • Igor Malenovsky
    • 5
  • Filip Tichanek
    • 3
  • Pavel Sebek
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Entomology, Biology CentreCzech Academy of ScienceCeske BudejoviceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceCharles University in PraguePragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaCeske BudejoviceCzech Republic
  4. 4.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of OstravaOstravaCzech Republic
  5. 5.Faculty of ScienceMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

Personalised recommendations