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Municipal solid waste landfill – Vegetation succession in an area transformed by human impact

Vaverková, Magdalena Daria, Winkler, Jan, Adamcová, Dana, Radziemska, Maja, Uldrijan, Dan, Zloch, Jan
Ecological engineering 2019 v.129 pp. 109-114
anthropogenic activities, ecological succession, ecosystems, environmental assessment, human health, indigenous species, invasive species, landfills, monitoring, municipal solid waste, plants (botany), species diversity, synanthropes, vegetation
Landfilling is the most used and worldwide spread method of municipal solid waste (MSW) disposal. The disposal of MSW in landfills entails a number of environmental risks and raises concerns about harmful impacts on human health. The presence and number of contaminants should be monitored in each study assessing the impact of anthropogenic activities on the environment, which relate to MSW management. It was hypothesized that the landfill site can disturb the species composition of native vegetation and create space for synanthropic as well as invasive plant species. The aim of the present study is a long-term monitoring of plant community (floristic research) on an MSW landfill, identification of changes in the plant species composition on the landfill, and evaluation of the importance of the identified species for the surrounding ecosystem and for the safety of landfilling. The results demonstrate that MSW landfill creates a very specific environment. Our research shows that the species composition on the landfill is not stable and a place of specific plant succession. The vegetation on MSW landfills is not stable in terms of its species composition and therefore its continual monitoring is needed. This site has a high potential for invasive species, which may alter the species composition of the vegetation in surrounding ecosystems. Species problematic for agriculture were identified, too. It is necessary to pay attention to the species composition of landfill vegetation, possibly even control some species.