The Puchuncaví valley (central Chile) has been exposed to aerial emissions from the Ventanas copper smelter. Nowadays, soils in the surroundings are sparsely-vegetated, acidic, nitrogen-deficient, and metal-contaminated. Their remediation is needed to reduce environmental risks. Phytostabilization considers the use of plants which are able to store metals in underground tissues, thus reducing their movement from contaminated soils to the air and water. The success of the treatment depends on application of suitable amendments in order to both limit metal solubility in soils and improve soil conditions for the plant development. We evaluated the effects of liming and nitrogen fertilization on cotyledon emergence, plant survival, biomass production and copper accumulation of Oenothera affinis grown in a soil from the Puchuncaví valley, under controlled conditions. Oenothera affinis is a native Chilean perennial herb, it is drought resistant, it is easy to propagate from seeds, and it produces a large biomass. The soil exhibited pH in salt extract of 4.6 and total copper concentration of 800 mg kg-1. Liming decreased Cu concentrations and Cu2+ activity in the soil solution, but did not affect cotyledon emergence. None of the plants survived in non-limed soils, while plant survival was 100% in the soils with near neutral pH. On the other hand, in limed soils, nitrogen fertilization did not affect biomass production and increased copper concentrations in both roots and shoots. It was concluded that liming is sufficient to improve soil conditions for development of O. affinis in acidic and metalcontaminated soils, allowing by this mean potential utilization of this species for phytostabilization.
|Translated title of the contribution||Effects of liming and nitrogen fertilization on the development of oenothera affinis in a soil affected by copper mining|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Revista de la Ciencia del Suelo y Nutricion Vegetal|
|State||Published - 11 Nov 2010|