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The potential of a Technosol and tropical native trees for reclamation of copper-polluted soils

Asensio, V., Flórido, F.G., Ruiz, F., Perlatti, F., Otero, X.L., Oliveira, D.P., Ferreira, T.O.
Chemosphere 2019 v.220 pp. 892-899
Astronium urundeuva, Cedrela fissilis, Technosols, bentonite, biomass, carbonates, copper, indigenous species, leaves, mining, planting, polluted soils, roots, shoots, soil degradation, trees
Technosols created to reclaim degraded soils is a promising solution that needs further research. The objectives of the study were: i) to create a Technosol with a very high capacity to immobilize copper from mining, ii) to assess the capacity of the Technosol to immobilize copper after planting two tropical native tree species, and iii) to analyse the capacity of the native trees for extracting copper from polluted soils. Myracrodruon urundeuva (aroeira) and Cedrela fissilis (pink cedar) were planted in pots with Technosol spiked with copper at concentrations of 125, 1525 and 3050 mg Cu kg−1. Height and stem diameter were measured over 90 days. Biomass and Cu concentration in leaves, stem and roots were determined. Copper was analysed in soils by sequential extraction, as well as in leached water.The Technosol showed a very high capacity to immobilize copper, since 60–80% of the added copper was strongly retained in the soil, mainly by bentonite and carbonates. The Technosol with trees showed the same capacity to immobilize copper as the control, since concentration in shoots was higher than 300 mg Cu kg−1 and concentration in roots was even higher. These results show that Technosol and both species are useful tools to immobilize copper in polluted soils. Further studies are necessary to determine the total capacity of these trees to immobilize and/or extract copper in the long term and under field conditions.