Brazilian Journal of Botany

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 287–295 | Cite as

Propagation and establishment of rupestrian grassland grasses for restoration of degraded areas by mining

  • Maurilio Assis Figueiredo
  • Adriana Pedrosa Diniz
  • Maria Cristina Teixeira Braga Messias
  • Alessandra Rodrigues Kozovits
Original Article


Investigations on the propagation and establishment of native grasses of rupestrian grassland on degraded substrates are essential to enable their use in the restoration of degraded areas, thus reducing the use of exotic species. This study aimed to evaluate the sexual and asexual propagation, establishment and growth of Axonopus laxiflorus (Trin.) Chase and Sporobolus metallicolus Longhi-Wagner & Boechat, two native grasses from rupestrian grassland developed on laterite substrate of an area degraded by bauxite mining. In greenhouse experiments, A. laxiflorus was propagated by tillers and S. metallicolus by seeds and tillers. Both species were also evaluated for germination in a germination chamber on the treatments: control, addition of potassium nitrate and heating at 80 °C for 2 min. In these evaluations, success of S. metallicolus germination was between 77 and 90%, without significative difference among treatments, whereas A. laxiflorus did not germinate. In the laterite substrate, S. metallicolous, propagated by seeds, showed 29% of survival, whereas in the vegetative propagation all plants of the two species survived. Eight months after starting the tiller experiment, S. metallicolus and A. laxiflorus presented a biomass increase of 239 and 75%, respectively. Although A. laxiflorus showed root biomass approximately seven times higher than S. metallicolus, the two species presented similar root length, that is, S. metallicolus contained more fine roots. The results show that the species can efficiently propagate vegetatively and, in the case of S. metallicolus, sexually. The success of the species in a substrate poor in nutrients and rich in Al, Fe and Mn indicates that they can be used in the restoration of areas degraded by bauxite and iron mining, which are important mining activities in Brazil.


Germination Poaceae Revegetation Rock outcrops Vegetative propagation 



We would like to thank Prof. José Badini Herbarium, the Jorge Luiz da Silva Botanical Garden, the laboratories of Plant Ecophysiology, Biodiversity and Plant Anatomy (DEBIO), and the Laboratory of Geochemistry (DEGEO) of the Federal University of Ouro Preto for the provision of infrastructure and assistance in the development of this study. We thank Gerhard Overbeck, Fernando Silveira and anonymous reviewer for the constructive comments on this manuscript. This study was supported by Federal University of Ouro Preto.


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Copyright information

© Botanical Society of Sao Paulo 2018
corrected publication June 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyFederal University of Ouro PretoOuro PretoBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Biodiversity, Evolution and EnvironmentFederal University of Ouro PretoOuro PretoBrazil

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