Phytodiversity on fly ash deposits: evaluation of naturally colonized species for sustainable phytorestoration

Abstract

Proliferation of fly ash (FA) deposits and its toxicity have become a global concern, which contaminate the ecosystems of our Earth. In this regard, identification of potential plant species for FA deposits’ restoration is the main concern. Keeping this view in mind, the present study was conducted to identify potential plant species naturally growing on FA deposits for the restoration purposes. Six intensive surveys were made during 2010–2014 to collect naturally growing plant species during different seasons from two FA deposits in Unchahar of Raebareli district, Uttar Pradesh, India. The plant species having potential for FA deposits’ restoration were identified on the basis of their ecological importance, dominance at the study sites and socio-economic importance for rural livelihoods. Typha latifolia L., Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers., Saccharum spontaneum L., Saccharum bengalense Retz. (syn. Saccharum munja), Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC., Ipomoea carnea Jacq. and Acacia nelotica L. are identified as potential plant species for FA deposits’ restoration. Furthermore, the characteristics of naturally colonized species can be used for the phytorestoration during a revegetation plan of new FA deposits for multiple benefits.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the fly ash deposit observer Bansilal for access to the ash dumping sites. Financial assistance given to Dr. VC Pandey as Young Scientist under Fast Track Scheme (No. SR/FTP/ES-96/2012) by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, New Delhi, is gratefully acknowledged. The author is also thankful to Dr. C.S. Nautiyal, Director, CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, for his kind support.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Vimal Chandra Pandey.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Pandey, V.C., Prakash, P., Bajpai, O. et al. Phytodiversity on fly ash deposits: evaluation of naturally colonized species for sustainable phytorestoration. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22, 2776–2787 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-014-3517-0

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Keywords

  • Fly ash deposits
  • Natural succession
  • Phytodiversity
  • Potential plant species
  • Restoration