Successive development of soil ecosystems at abandoned coal-ash landfills

Stanislav Pen-Mouratov, Nosir Shukurov, Jun Yu, Shakhnoza Rakhmonkulova, Obidjon Kodirov, Gineta Barness, Michael Kersten, Yosef Steinberger

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10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The main goal of the present study was to determine the effect of the native vegetation on the successive development of the soil ecosystem at abandoned coal-ash landfills of the Angren coal-fired power plant in Uzbekistan. Two different landfills (one not in use for 3 years, termed newer, and the other not in use for 10 years, termed older) with different degrees of vegetation cover were chosen to assess the time and vegetation effects on soil biota and habitat development. The soil biotic structure, including soil microorganisms and soil free-living nematode communities, was investigated both at open plots and under different native plants at the coal-ash landfill area. The observed soil microorganisms were found to be the most important component of the observed ecosystems. Total abundance, biomass, species, trophic and sexual diversity of soil free-living nematodes, along with fungi and organic-matter content, were found to be correlated with trace metals. The nematode trophic and species abundance and diversity increased from the newer toward the older coal-ash landfills. The sex ratio of the nematode communities was found to be dependent on the environmental conditions of the study area, with the males being the most sensitive nematode group. All applied ecological indices confirmed that open landfill plots distant from plants are the most unfavorable areas for soil biota. In that respect, the native plants Alhagi maurorum Desv. and Tamarix sp. were found to be important environmental components for the natural remediation of a soil ecosystem in the coal-ash landfill area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)880-897
Number of pages18
JournalEcotoxicology
Volume23
Issue number5
Early online date28 Mar 2014
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This project was supported by the Israel Repatriate Scientists Program (KAMEA); the International Council for Science (ICSU); the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and the United Nations University—Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU/IAS) Visiting Scientist Program to S. Pen-Mouratov. N.Shukurov was supported by a Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers (AvH) (Ref. No.1148710 STP). O. Kodirov was supported in part by a German DAAD grant (Ref. No. A/10/80333), and M. Kersten was supported by a grant from the German DFG SPP 1315 ‘‘Biogeochemical Interfaces in Soil’’ program (Ref. No. 1315). The authors thank Ms. Sharon Victor for her helpful comments. We also appreciate the helpful comments of the anonymous reviewers. The authors hereby declare that all experiments performed comply with the current laws of Uzbekistan.

Funding

Acknowledgments This project was supported by the Israel Repatriate Scientists Program (KAMEA); the International Council for Science (ICSU); the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and the United Nations University—Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU/IAS) Visiting Scientist Program to S. Pen-Mouratov. N.Shukurov was supported by a Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers (AvH) (Ref. No.1148710 STP). O. Kodirov was supported in part by a German DAAD grant (Ref. No. A/10/80333), and M. Kersten was supported by a grant from the German DFG SPP 1315 ‘‘Biogeochemical Interfaces in Soil’’ program (Ref. No. 1315). The authors thank Ms. Sharon Victor for her helpful comments. We also appreciate the helpful comments of the anonymous reviewers. The authors hereby declare that all experiments performed comply with the current laws of Uzbekistan.

FundersFunder number
DFG SPP 1315SPP 1315
German DAADA/10/80333
German DFG
ICSU
Interfaces
Israel Repatriate Scientists Program
KAMEA
UNU/IAS
TWAS
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
United Nations University
The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World
International Science Council

    Keywords

    • Coal-ash landfill
    • Heavy metal
    • Industrial pollution
    • Microorganism
    • Nematode
    • Sex diversity

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