The six-monthly newsletter provides updated information on our project progress, achievements and important forthcoming activities related to the phytomanagement of degraded and/or contaminated soils. This first newsletter includes a brief introduction to the project.
Mycorrhizal-Assisted Phytoremediation and Intercropping Strategies Improved the Health of Contaminated Soil in a Peri-Urban Area
María T. Gómez-Sagasti, Carlos Garbisu, Julen Urra, Fátima Míguez, Unai Artetxe, Antonio Hernández, Juan Vilela, Itziar Alkorta and José M. Becerril
Front. Plant Sci. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2021.693044
Soils of abandoned and vacant lands in the periphery of cities are frequently subjected to illegal dumping and can undergo degradation processes such as depletion of organic matter and nutrients, reduced biodiversity, and the presence of contaminants, which may exert an intense abiotic stress on biological communities. Mycorrhizal-assisted phytoremediation and intercropping strategies are highly suitable options for remediation of these sites. A two-year field experiment was conducted at a peri-urban site contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls, to assess the effects of plant growth (spontaneous plant species, Medicago sativa, and Populus × canadensis, alone vs. intercropped) and inoculation of a commercial arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal inoculum. Contaminant degradation, plant performance, and biodiversity, as well as a variety of microbial indicators of soil health (microbial biomass, activity, and diversity parameters) were determined. The rhizosphere bacterial and fungal microbiomes were assessed by measuring the structural diversity and composition via amplicon sequencing. Establishment of spontaneous vegetation led to greater plant and soil microbial diversity. Intercropping enhanced the activity of soil enzymes involved in nutrient cycling. The mycorrhizal treatment was a key contributor to the establishment of intercropping with poplar and alfalfa. Inoculated and poplar-alfalfa intercropped soils had a higher microbial abundance than soils colonized by spontaneous vegetation. Our study provided evidence of the potential of mycorrhizal-assisted phytoremediation and intercropping strategies to improve soil health in degraded peri-urban areas.
Keep and promote biodiversity at polluted sites under phytomanagement
Garbisu, C., Alkorta, I., Kidd, P. et al.
Environ Sci Pollut Res 27, 44820–44834 (2020)
The phytomanagement concept combines a sustainable reduction of pollutant linkages at risk-assessed contaminated sites with the generation of both valuable biomass for the (bio)economy and ecosystem services. One of the potential benefits of phytomanagement is the possibility to increase biodiversity in polluted sites. However, the unique biodiversity present in some polluted sites can be severely impacted by the implementation of phytomanagement practices, even resulting in the local extinction of endemic ecotypes or species of great conservation value. Here, we highlight the importance of promoting measures to minimise the potential adverse impact of phytomanagement on biodiversity at polluted sites, as well as recommend practices to increase biodiversity at phytomanaged sites without compromising its effectiveness in terms of reduction of pollutant linkages and the generation of valuable biomass and ecosystem services.
Phytomanagement with grassy species, compost and dolomitic limestone rehabilitates a meadow at a wood preservation site
Aritz Burges, Nad`ege Oustriere, María Galende, Lilian Marchand, Clemence M. Bes,
Eric Paidjan, Markus Puschenreiter, Jose María Becerril, Michel Mench
Ecological Engineering 160 (2021) 106132
Brownfield surface is expanding in Europe, but as often abandoned or underused, these areas become refuge for microbial, faunal and floral biodiversity. However, brownfield sites are generally contaminated, likely posing severe environmental risks. At a former wood preservation site contaminated with Cu, we evaluated the efficiency of compost and dolomitic limestone incorporation into the soil, followed by revegetation with Cu-tolerant grassy species, as a phytomanagement option to increase vegetation cover and plant diversity while reducing pollutant linkages. 7 years of phytomanagement enhanced natural revegetation through the improvement of soil physicochemical properties, particularly with compost-based amendments. The compost incorporation increased soil Cu solubility; however, no increment in Cu availability and a reduction in Cu-induced phytotoxicity were observed with the compost. The improved soil nutrient availability and the soil phytotoxicity mitigation in compost-amended soils facilitated over the 7 years the growth of beneficial plant colonists, including leguminous species, which can potentially promote essential soil functions. Soil treatments did not affect Cu uptake and translocation by plants and shoot Cu levels indicated no risk for the food chain. Overall, a long-term phytomanagement combining an initial amendment of compost and dolomitic limestone with the cultivation of Cu-tolerant grassy populations can ameliorate such Cu-contaminated soils, by mitigating risks induced by Cu excess, ultimately allowing the development of a meadow that can provide ecological and economic benefits in terms of ecosystem services.
PhytoSUDOE project: Recovering polluted soils in southwestern Europe through phytomanagement
PhytoSUDOE’s Layman report is a final report for the general public describing the main results of the project, including a list of recommendations for the use of phytomanagement.