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Microbial relationships in surface-mine revegetation


The establishment and interrelationships of microorganisms with soil and plant processes during reclamation are greatly influenced by the composition of the planting medium and vegetation practices. While in some instances the parent material may be used as the vegetation medium, the practice of topsoiling, particularly the direct haul method, may be beneficial in introducing microorganisms and improving the quality of the plant growth medium of spoils that are chemically or physically less desirable than the native soils. The influence of different vegetation types on soil development on surface mines may be a reflection of physioiogical differences that affect microbial development in the rhizosphere. Such differences include levels of carbohydrate translocated to the root system and/or released into the surrounding soil; the plant's effectiveness as a mycorrhizal host; and the rate of degradation of plant residues. It has become apparent that microbial interactions are an important part of plant and soil processes in reclamation. While some of the microorganisms important in plant growth and soil development can be introduced readily by management practices, the majority usually are disseminated by natural means and only gradually become a part of the microbial population. More research is needed on developing new methods or refining current procedures for early introduction of these microorganisms in reclamation practices.

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Rothwell, F.M., Eagleston, D. Microbial relationships in surface-mine revegetation. Environ Geochem Health 7, 28–35 (1985).

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  • Lignin
  • Mycorrhizal Fungus
  • Organic Amendment
  • Azospirillum
  • Soil Development