Metal uptake from iron ore mine tailings by perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is higher after wheat straw than wheat straw biochar amendment

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Abstract

Abstract
Background and aims Mine tailings often contain high concentrations of metals that may lead to serious environmental concerns. Phytoremediation by suitable plant species, coupled with organic amendments, represents an intriguing way of improving the quality of mine tailings.
Methodology
We conducted a glasshouse pot study to assess the impact of biochar derived from wheat straw (BC) and wheat straw (WS) at diferent application rates (w/w: 0%, 1%, 2%, 5%, 10%) in enhancing physicochemical and biological attributes of iron ore mine tailings. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) growth and uptake of metals (Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cr,Ni, Pb) and As were assessed.
Results
The pH(H2O) of iron mine tailings (6.62 with 0% amendment) signifcantly increased to 8.01 in BC 10% but decreased to 5.33 in WS 10%. However,
electrical conductivity, total carbon, total nitrogen and cation exchange capacity increased signifcantly with application of either amendment. Improvement
in physicochemical parameters of tailings by amending with WS was associated with signifcantly greater plant growth compared with BC amendment. Shoot
As and Pb accumulation by perennial ryegrass was low (below detection limit), whereas that of Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cr and Ni increased with an increase in
both BC and WS application. Microbial biomass carbon and respiration were enhanced more in the WS than in BC treatments.
Conclusion
This study suggests wheat straw is a better amendment than biochar for the iron ore mine tailings.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant and Soil
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2024

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