Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 1321–1330 | Cite as

Characterization of soil physico-chemical parameters and limitations for revegetation in serpentine quarry soils (NW Spain)

Phytoremediation of Polluted Soils: Recent Progress and Developments

Abstract

Purpose

Quarrying activities in areas with serpentinized rocks may have a negative impact on plant growth. Quarry soils generally offer hostile environments for plant growth due to their low-nutrient availability, low organic matter, and high-trace metal content.

Materials and methods

In order to determine the factors that can limit plant revegetation, this study was carried out in two serpentine quarries in Galicia (NW Spain): one abandoned in 1999 and the other still active.

Results and discussion

The results show that in soils developed in the abandoned quarry, the limitations for revegetation were: moderate alkaline pH (7.87–8.05), strong Ca/Mg (<1) imbalance, low N (<0.42 mg kg−1) and P (<2 mg kg−1) content, and high total heavy-metal content (Co 76–147 mg kg−1; Cr 1370–2600 mg kg−1; and Ni 1340–2040 mg kg−1). The limitations were much less intense in the soils developed in the substratum in the active quarry, which were incipient soils poorly developed and permanently affected by the quarrying activity.

Conclusions

Restoration work should be geared toward establishing a stable diverse vegetation cover, including serpentinophile species, which would provide the necessary modifications to correct nutritive imbalances and improve soil quality.

Keywords

Magnesium/calcium balance Pollution Serpentinite quarries Soil fertility Spolic Technosol 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrés Rodríguez-Seijo
    • 1
  • María Luisa Andrade
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Biology and Soil ScienceUniversidade de VigoVigoSpain

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