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Carbon sequestration in reclaimed manganese mine land at Gumgaon, India

Juwarkar, Asha A., Mehrotraa, K. L., Nair, Rajani, Wanjari, Tushar, Singh, S. K., Chakrabarti, T.
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2010 v.160 no.1-4 pp. 457-464
agricultural land, biosphere, carbon, carbon dioxide, carbon sequestration, cost effectiveness, forest soils, forests, global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, manganese, soil organic carbon, soil profiles, wastelands, India
Carbon emission is supposed to be the strongest factor for global warming. Removing atmospheric carbon and storing it in the terrestrial biosphere is one of the cost-effective options, to compensate greenhouse gas emission. Millions of acres of abandoned mine land throughout the world, if restored and converted into vegetative land, would solve two major problems of global warming and generation of degraded wasteland. In this study, a manganese spoil dump at Gumgaon, Nagpur in India was reclaimed, using an integrated biotechnological approach (IBA). The physicochemical and microbiological status of the mine land improved after reclamation. Soil organic carbon (SOC) pool increased from 0.104% to 0.69% after 20 years of reclamation in 0-15 cm spoil depth. Soil organic carbon level of reclaimed site was also compared with a native forestland and agricultural land. Forest soil showed highest SOC level of 1.11% followed by reclaimed land and agriculture land of 0.70% and 0.40%, respectively. Soil profile studies of all three sites showed that SOC pool decreased from 0-15, 15-30, and 30-45 cm depths. Although reclaimed land showed less carbon than forestland, it showed better SOC accumulation rate. Reclamation of mine lands by using IBA is an effective method for mitigating CO₂ emissions.